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  #1  
Old 10-13-2020, 01:34 AM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Panel discussion regarding new Omega Psi Phi History book.

The link below is a panel discussion by members of Omega's International History & Archives Committee who have been commissioned to write a new history book for the Fraternity, the first official history book since 1961. The four academic historians and one independent researcher/editor/author report on their methodology of research and thumbnail sketches from their areas of expertise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbWFLf3NfYM
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2020, 12:08 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Not to be nosey.... but I have to ask:

There is a book called The History of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.: An Update for the Period 1960 to 2008 by Vernon Steve Weakley. I possess a copy, along with the Gill and Dreer books. Not only does this book list Omega Psi Phi as the publisher, it states (in all caps) "This book was officially snactioned and commissioned by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. via 38th Grand Basileus, The Honorable Warren G. Lee and the Supreme Council born from the 74th Grand Conclave in July 2006.

Yet both you and the presentation assert that the book that is in progress is the first official history book since 1961.

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  #3  
Old 10-14-2020, 12:38 AM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Yes, the Weakley book was commissioned under a previous administration but was not received as "acceptable" by the powers that be and the Brotherhood. The Dreer and Gill history books are scholarly works of deep learning and critical reflection which the Fraternity stands behind and sells to new initiates and the Brotherhood at large. Not only that but there was another history book commissioned by a later administration and a manuscript produced but it was opposed by the Supreme Council because of uneven coverage of various sectors of the Fraternity, which made this effort a non-starter. Even though the author was an academic (a STEM scholar), it shows that doing this work should be carried out by trained historians. This administration ,to its credit, has typically relied on Brothers with expertise to carry out important tasks, since we have a plethora of Brothers in every field. But you understand that politics plays a role in these matters too! I am encouraged by this effort, from the serious critical scholars involved in this project to the methodological issues dealt with in implementing this project.
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Last edited by Wolfman; 10-14-2020 at 12:50 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-14-2020, 06:45 AM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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I understand.

As a relatively reasonable third party observer, the Weakley book being ignored doesn't give me hope that the work in progress will be impartial.

I'm sure it will be good.
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:42 AM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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All history writing is perspectival. What is most important that it is comprehensive in depth and scope, with the requisite treatment of Omega's past and present in a sympathetic yet critical manner. Committee member Bro. Alridge of UVA, who is an educational and intellectual historian, has written in the past how much historical work regarding history makers/shapers in textbooks has been "one dimensional" based on the "great man" myth as it regards the task of historiography. He specifically applied this observation to treatments of Dr. MLK, Jr. My hope is that if they can bring some of that critical acumen to bear on the cherished legacy of the Frat, we'll be well served. He remarked in the presentation about the "unfettered" assistance the H&A Committee has received from this administration for this project which is a good sign, if it's more than typical pro forma verbiage. And I noticed the comment by Bro. Hobson regarding the abivalent effects of the prohibition of pledging by the NPHC has had on the life of its member orgs is in line me with this thrust. This is the type of reflection that needs to happen for this work.
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Last edited by Wolfman; 10-14-2020 at 02:47 PM. Reason: typo
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2022, 02:46 PM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Manuscript completed.

The manuscrpt for the new Omega Psi Phi History Book has been completed and submitted to the publisher, although there is no date of publication as of yet.

During Plenary Session V of the 83rd Grand Conclave recently in Charlotte, NC, there was a presentation by the Chair of the International History & Archives Committee, Bro. Keir Pemberton and a panel discussionbyf the authors of the History Book, Profs. Derek Alridge (UVA), Jim Harper (NCCU), Maurice Hobson (Georgia State Univ.) and Eddie Cole (UCLA) about this accomplishment entitled, "Making of the History Book".
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2022, 05:41 PM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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The history will be published in 2023, with the following citation:

With Faith in God and Heart and Mind: A History of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity with Maurice,Hobson, Eddie Cole, and James Harper. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press. Forthcoming September 2023.
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2022, 02:23 AM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
The history will be published in 2023, with the following citation:

With Faith in God and Heart and Mind: A History of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity with Maurice,Hobson, Eddie Cole, and James Harper. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press. Forthcoming September 2023.
(From the CV of Bro. Derrick Alridge, the 4th author of this history book.)
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2022, 09:46 AM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Thanks for the updates!
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Old 09-17-2022, 10:44 AM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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You're welcome! I'm pleased that this looks like the successful completion of a project that was planned and executed properly. The Chair of the International History & Archives Committee, Bro. Keir Pemberton, explains:

"Before I was appointed as International History & Archives Chair, the Grand Basileus interviewed me for the position and asked me a simple but very important question – “How would you go about producing a History Book?”. My answer connected both the production of the text with our need to properly maintain our record archives. Production of the text would involve the selection of intelligent brothers who are professionally trained historians. Leaders in their industry. Proper maintenance of our record archives has always been the most difficult endeavor. It is common knowledge that our record keeping system is inadequate and has been a restraint in our ability to provide an updated history book since 1961. Why should you think this is important? My inspiration is the late Brother Walter H. Mazyck, whose record keeping as Grand Keeper of Records and Seal provided the groundwork for the Dreer History Book which provided a wealth of chapter and member information. It served as the primary resource for the follow-on Gill History Book. Chapter records are important because they not only document its works but also their membership as well. Without those records properly maintained no one will know the SERVICE you as a brother provided to Omega and the communities you served. When our time comes to enter Omega Chapter, we will want an accurate accounting of our fraternal history" (from electkeirpemberton.com).

And I'm also pleased that this history book will be published by a very reputable academic press, which has a long history of publishing works of African American History/Studies, which means it will have gone through a peer reviewed process. And UNC Press has, IMO, published the best history of white fraternities: The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities by Nicholas Syrett. And this month UNC Press has published another important study of white GLOs: The Benefits of Friends: Inside the Complicated World of Today's Fraternities & Sororities by Jana Mathews.
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2022, 09:52 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
You're welcome! I'm pleased that this looks like the successful completion of a project that was planned and executed properly. The Chair of the International History & Archives Committee, Bro. Keir Pemberton, explains:

"Before I was appointed as International History & Archives Chair, the Grand Basileus interviewed me for the position and asked me a simple but very important question – “How would you go about producing a History Book?”. My answer connected both the production of the text with our need to properly maintain our record archives. Production of the text would involve the selection of intelligent brothers who are professionally trained historians. Leaders in their industry. Proper maintenance of our record archives has always been the most difficult endeavor. It is common knowledge that our record keeping system is inadequate and has been a restraint in our ability to provide an updated history book since 1961. Why should you think this is important? My inspiration is the late Brother Walter H. Mazyck, whose record keeping as Grand Keeper of Records and Seal provided the groundwork for the Dreer History Book which provided a wealth of chapter and member information. It served as the primary resource for the follow-on Gill History Book. Chapter records are important because they not only document its works but also their membership as well. Without those records properly maintained no one will know the SERVICE you as a brother provided to Omega and the communities you served. When our time comes to enter Omega Chapter, we will want an accurate accounting of our fraternal history" (from electkeirpemberton.com).

And I'm also pleased that this history book will be published by a very reputable academic press, which has a long history of publishing works of African American History/Studies, which means it will have gone through a peer reviewed process. And UNC Press has, IMO, published the best history of white fraternities: The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities by Nicholas Syrett. And this month UNC Press has published another important study of white GLOs: The Benefits of Friends: Inside the Complicated World of Today's Fraternities & Sororities by Jana Mathews.
All this! A very exciting time, indeed. The peer-review portion is very important to me, and I think it's what's missing from the conversation in all other D9 history books except for In Search of Sisterhood.

The word "hagiography" comes to mind, these days.
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Old 09-20-2022, 03:45 PM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Originally Posted by Sen's Revenge View Post
All this! A very exciting time, indeed. The peer-review portion is very important to me, and I think it's what's missing from the conversation in all other D9 history books except for In Search of Sisterhood.

The word "hagiography" comes to mind, these days.
A contributing factor to this, in my experience, is that the purpose of the fraternity history book is seen fundamentally as a tool for member education. Some almost consider the contents contained therein as almost esoteric information. A fraternity history book should also serve as a respository of public, social history.
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