Students learned about what the black Greek is really about at a program hosted by the Black Students Board last week. Kornelius Bascombe, a sophomore in criminology and chair of the BSB gave an introduction about the speaker Rasheed Ali Cromwell, ESQ, CEO of Harbor Institute, lawyer, and graduate member of the Kappa Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. In Washington D.C. Cromwell is a professional speaker on the topics concerning Greek affairs, personal leadership, and motivation.
Cromwell’s topic of the mis-educated students of the black Greek was to help inform Greek and non-Greek college students the truth behind the Black Greeks as well as kill the common and ignorant stereotypes.
Cromwell used his personal knowledge about black Greeks to catch the attention of the audience. Information such as many of the great black leaders that are members of the Divine Nine. He mentioned leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. who was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Michelle Obama an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Robert Johnson a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Langston Hughes who was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc, Shirley Chisholm a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Huey P. Newton a Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Sheryl Underwood a member Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., and Bobby Rush a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. These are just a few leaders who were Greek. Cromwell asked the audience “Can someone give me a 10 second summary of [the film] Stomp the Yard?” A student from the audience replied, “Drumline with stepping.” Cromwell used this to help the audience understand how the stereotype of black Greeks became misconstrued to the thought of “All we do is step, stomp, and hop.” He opened the eyes of the audience and made them see that there was so much more meaning. He mentioned how a black Greek letter organization is a brother/sisterhood of African-Americans coming together to make a change and to make leaders.
There was a point in his speech where the message seemed to be directed to the Greeks instead of the non Greeks. He said how the organizations have to do better with the pickings. He said don’t not pick someone because they are your friend or because they are popular but go back to picking people that are leaders. Don’t, not pick someone because you don’t like him or her if they have leadership qualities. Cromwell then mentioned the ways to get “back to the basics” which are to refocus and leave a legacy, recommit and choose better members, lead and serve and live to learn.
After talking to a few of the students in the audience there were no negative comments concerning Cromwell’s speech. In fact many were inspired and enjoyed it a lot. Miles Payton a sophomore in business management said, “It was educational and seemed to help with any confusion as well as helped with making decision concerning joining or being interested.”
Tiffany Stringfiled a sophomore in biochemistry said “I thought it was really good! It was really informative about the historical issues and the contemporary issues. I thought it was really great!”
When asked what made the board members choose this topic and how they thought it was important within the black community, Bascombe said, “We believe this event would empower the students to be more informed about black organizations”understand misconceptions are social and help to uphold names and mottos.”
Kwame Boatwright a freshman first year college added “We choose it because a lot of African Americans are informed about Black Greeks and it is a great opportunity for them to learn more.”
Delisha Smith a sophomore textile technology said “because people just see the organizations stomping and stepping and don’t low what the true meaning of it and it a better way to inform them.”
The Mis-education of the Black Greek was a great program and had nothing but good reviews and responses overall.