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Old 09-29-2021, 10:19 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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50th anniversary of first Black frat at N.J. university marked as turning point

For the past 49 years, Larry Jones and the surviving members of his college fraternity had always vowed to get together, have dinner and catch up at least once a year.

But this year was different. This year marked a milestone.

Jones and 16 other fraternity brothers made history 50 years ago when they started the first Black fraternity at Rutgers University-Camden. At that time, there were no historically Black fraternities or sororities.

Their chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity was not only an achievement for them, it may have been a turning point for the university.

“Back in 1971, Rutgers was not on radar for a lot of Black students coming out of the Camden schools system,” said Jones, 71, a retired banker now living in Florida. “In 1970, Rutgers really reached out and a lot of us were enrolled as a result of them. They reached out to the community and said ‘We want to be a part of this community.’”

Nineteen-seventy-one was a difficult year in Camden.

Racial strife over alleged police brutality had sparked unrest in 1969 and again in 1971. A police officer and a 15-year-old girl died in August 1971 during unrest that involved street fights with police and dozens of fires.

Jones and many others believe part of what eventually helped turn the tide was an effort by the university to recruit more inner-city residents and their fraternity’s effort to create their own place at the university.
The article could be a little more clear with some statements, but otherwise, a nice story.
I believe in the values of friendship and fidelity to purpose

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