Morehouse College's Psi Chapter Omegas Gift 83-Year Old Artifact To Alpha Rho Centennial Archives
ALPHA RHO'S CENTENNIAL ARCHIVES TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO CHAPTER'S LONG-HIDDEN TREASURES
By APCAA Staff
In continuation of a years-long partnership that shares access to historic documents that chart the early development of both Alpha Rho and Psi Chapters at Morehouse College, Co-Chairman of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.'s Psi Chapter History Committee John H. Monds (Psi Spring 1987) recently presented a rare
hand-crafted paper collage invitation from Alpha Rho Chapter (Morehouse College) and Alpha Phi Chapter (then Clark College) to Morehouse College Dean of Men Brailsford Reese Brazeal, for their December 20, 1940 Annual Christmas Dance. The location, The Top Hat, was then managed by Brother Franklin Lee Bailey (Fall 1934).
The original condition 1940 invitation was recently uncovered inside of the historic Brazeal House located just west of the Morehouse College campus at 193 Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard (formerly Ashby Street). It was once the longtime home of Morehouse College Dean and professor Dr. Brailsford Reese Brazeal and his family.
"The cooperative spirit that links two of Morehouse's most storied organizations is a true demonstration that Morehouse Men are Brothers, first, and foremost," explained APCAA President BMaynard Scarborough. "We are extremely grateful that our college brothers at Psi Chapter think highly enough of us to entrust valuable historic finds that are linked directly to our lineage. We both rep that GOLD for a good reason, and it shows!"
The Psi Chapter Alumni Association purchased the Brazeal House and its holdings in the 2000s. Dr. Brazeal is a Spring 1924 initiate of the Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. at Morehouse College.
ABOUT THE DEAN OF MEN & BRAZEAL HOUSE:
Dr. Brailsford Reese Brazeal (b. 1903–d. 1981) was an educator, economist, author, labor and civil rights activist. He dedicated much of his life to education, human relations, labor issues, and racial equality. He received his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in 1927 and his master’s degree in economics at Columbia University in 1928. He also received his Ph.D. from Columbia in economics and political science in 1942.
Brazeal House was was known as a place where students would gather for mentoring sessions, and there that they had the opportunity to socialize with distinguished faculty and alumni. In 2005, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Alpha Rho Brothers Hon. Maynard H. Jackson (Spring 1956), Justice Horace T. Ward (Spring 1948), Rev. Dr. Samuel Berry McKinney (Fall 1947), Justice J. Jerome Farris (Fall 1948), Dr. Warner E. Meadows, Jr. (Fall 1949), and National Bro. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Sigma, Spring 1952) were known to frequent the sessions during their undergraduate years at the college. Other frequent visitors included future Morehouse College Registrar Gerone Hendale Taylor (Fall 1937), and Dr. James William Hubert (Spring 1938) son of Acting Morehouse President Charles D. Hubert (1938-40). The Huberts leased the house prior to the Brazeal family.
AP100 CENTENNIAL ARCHIVE:
Archival storage became a primary focus of APCAA in 2015 when the association began the massive task of identifying every initiate of the Chapter dating back to its chartering in January 1924. Established archival resources were utilized to accomplish the charting, including the Auburn Avenue Research Center (Fulton County), Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Harlem, NYC), National Museum of African American History & Culture Library (Washington, DC), Rose Library for African American History and Culture (Emory University), and the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library. The fraternity's national archives, while somewhat incomplete due to an earlier storage fire, also provided all data that existed in the Baltimore, Maryland HQ at that time.
[Of note — a major historical find was previously uncovered and shared by Psi Chapter's Co-Chairman of the History Committee, Kyle S. Yeldell, while compiling their chapter's "The Soul Of Omega — A History of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. at Morehouse College." Yeldell discovered documentation of two unknown pledge lines for Alpha Rho Chapter (Spring and Fall 1924) which led to the positive identification of the first 12 initiates into the Chapter following Charter Day, January 5, 1924.]
APCAA has developed a comprehensive plan to catalog, capture, and preserve a multitude of Alpha Rho artifacts that are known to exist in campus spaces, private homes and storage facilities in anticipation of a major exhibit in January 2024. State-of-the-art, climate-controlled storage is the only acceptable method for assuring that the next generation can appreciate our rich history in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Morehouse College.
APCAA's Display & Memorabilia Caucus, co-led by Brothers Kevin P. Smith (Fall 1989) and Cecil Page Brown (Fall 1962), is charged with organizing artifacts for inclusion in the Alpha Rho Centennial Archives. Complimenting the project are subject matter expert Henry M. Goodgame, Undergraduate Chapter Advisor (Fall 1981), RM Lathan (Fall 1989), Whitney L. Cain (Fall 1988), Dwayne C. Toomer (Fall 1982), Charles J. Johnson, Sr. (Spring 1980), Christopher D. Gooding (Fall 2011), Jalen C.B. Mathis (Fall 2021), Ralph B. Everett (Fall 1970), Mark A. Davis (Spring 2018), Robert L. Williams (Fall 2004), and Gordon L. Joyner (Fall 1969).
1,242 INITIATES BY NAME & PHOTO:
Morehouse College's APCAA holds the distinction as the only association among one- and two-letter Chapters that has accurately identified 100% of its initiates dating back to the early 20th century. To date, 1,242 Morehouse Men are documented by name and photo at www.alpharhoalumni.org.
[Bio and photo from: Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., Brailsford R. Brazeal papers.; Other source material: Georgia Department of Community Affairs: "He was a Morehouse Man."]