The Honorable Congressman John Lewis will join members, such as Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. and Reverend Al Sharpton, of his Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. brotherhood to commemorate the historic “March On Washington” 50 years later.
Washington, DC — Members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc (PBS) are invigorated by their passionate return to Washington, D.C to celebrate the 50th Anniversary March for Jobs and Freedom.
On Saturday, August 24, 2013, Honorable Congressman John Lewis will join his Sigma Brotherhood members, such as Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Reverend Al Sharpton, Founder of National Action Network to commemorate the historic “March On Washington” 50 years later. The campaign aptly called “Thunder Back” is a clarion call to Phi Beta Sigma Men nationwide to travel to the nation’s capitol to commemorate one of the largest gatherings of African Americans and reignite the fight for human rights and justice for all people.
In tribute to the courageous Freedom Riders of 1963, Phi Beta Sigma men and their supporters will board buses in seven major cities and travel to Washington D.C. to march with citizens from around the nation. The cities where buses will be boarded are Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, New York and Philadelphia.
“I am honored Congressman John Lewis, the only person living who spoke from the podium at the first March On Washington 50 years ago and Hank Thomas, an original 1963 Freedom Rider, are participants in our ‘Thunder Back’ initiative,” said Jonathan A. Mason. “Though we have accomplished many of the objectives Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of 50 years ago, our work is not yet done. Thus, we return to Washington, DC to march for jobs, justice and equality!” Mason added.
As the leading proactive community services organization, PBS through its Thunder Back campaign is encouraging its chapters to reach out and recruit Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. sisters, Sigma Beta Club members and extended campus and community supporters to be participants in the historic celebration.
Sigma brothers and supporters can participate in three key events: (1) Town Hall Meeting on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 2168 Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room, located at 45 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. Program starts at 4 pm. The Town Hall Meeting includes speakers Congressman John Lewis, Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Mary Breaux Wright, International President, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Dr. Ivory Lyles, International Director of Social Action, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Hank Thomas, an original Freedom Rider and Dr. Anthony A. Samad, Author/Scholar/Columnist; (2) Civil Rights Breakfast Sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Sigma Sigma Chapter at The Club @ Bolling Air Force Base, located at 50 Theisen Street, NW, Washington, D.C. The breakfast begins at 7:45 am on Saturday, August 24, 2013 and features a conversation with Civil Rights Pioneers Congressman John Lewis and Dr. Cordy Tindell (C.T.) Vivian, President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Tickets cost $50 per person and (3) The 50th Anniversary March on Washington On Saturday, August 24, 2013. Sponsored by the National Action Network and Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The March begins at 10:00 AM at Lincoln Memorial, located at 2 Lincoln Memorial Circle, NW, Washington, D.C.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., established in 1914 on Howard University, is a global organization with over 450 chapters and 150,000 members. To learn more, visit www.phibetasigma1914.org
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie Robinson, single-handedly raised Jackie and her four other children. They were the only black family on their block, and the prejudice they encountered only strengthened their bond. From this humble beginning would grow the first baseball player to break Major League Baseball's color barrier that segregated the sport for more than 50 years.
Growing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1941, he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college, and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. After two years in the army, he had progressed to second lieutenant. Jackie's army career was cut short when he was court-martialed in relation to his objections with incidents of racial discrimination. In the end, Jackie left the Army with an honorable discharge.
In 1945, Jackie played one season in the Negro Baseball League, traveling all over the Midwest with the Kansas City Monarchs. But greater challenges and achievements were in store for him. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African-American player since 1889, when baseball became segregated. When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America. By breaking the color barrier in baseball, the nation's preeminent sport, he courageously challenged the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation in both the North and the South.
At the end of Robinson's rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he had become National League Rookie of the Year with 12 homers, a league-leading 29 steals, and a .297 average. In 1949, he was selected as the NL's Most Valuable player of the Year and also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. As a result of his great success, Jackie was eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Jackie married Rachel Isum, a nursing student he met at UCLA, in 1946. As an African-American baseball player, Jackie was on display for the whole country to judge. Rachel and their three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David, provided Jackie with the emotional support and sense of purpose essential for bearing the pressure during the early years of baseball.
Jackie Robinson's life and legacy will be remembered as one of the most important in American history. In 1997, the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Jackie's breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier. In doing so, we honored the man who stood defiantly against those who would work against racial equality and acknowledged the profound influence of one man's life on the American culture. On the date of Robinson's historic debut, all Major League teams across the nation celebrated this milestone. Also that year, on United States Post Office honored Robinson by making him the subject of a commemorative postage stamp. On Tuesday, April 15 President Bill Clinton paid tribute to Jackie at Shea Stadium in New York in a special ceremony.
The Alain Leroy Locke Honors Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was established during Conclave New Orleans to honor collegiate brothers who have distinguished themselves in the pursuit of high scholastic achievement. It also serves as the highest distinction a brother can obtain during his collegiate years in Sigma. As Conclave Philadelphia approaches, we are seeking deserving collegiate brothers to apply for membership into this prestigious chapter.
Named in honor of Dr. Alain Leroy Locke, our fellow Sigma brother and the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, the chapter recognizes the top performing scholars among our collegiate membership. The ALHC is also the first chapter of its kind among the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.
The minimum requirements for membership are as follows:
The open period to submit applications will be from January 15, 2013 to March 15, 2013. The application and instructions for brothers who aspire to attain membership into this chapter will be made available via the international website. Again, we strongly urge all brothers who meet the minimum requirements listed above to apply. We also ask all brothers to encourage collegians who you believe meet these requirements to submit their application for consideration.
"Our Cause Speeds On Its Way" .... We, the brothers of the Alpha Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. would like to congratulate the SPR' 13 Neophyte Class, of the Upsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Though their challenge is just at its beginning, the commitment that they have made is one that will continue in the growth of our prestigious fraternity. The Upsilon Chapter, Chartered in 1925, was the 20th established chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc, @ Livingstone College. GOMAB to the good brothers and may all chapters of our organization be able to follow in their footsteps of continued growth and uplifting brotherhood.
Lets Step to build bridges with each other. #pbs100 #GOMAB #PBSSTEP
Nnamdi Azikiwe Addresses Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity at its 35th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. (1949)
Here Nnamdi Azikiwe, future first President of Nigeria, delivers an address to his fellow fraternity members at the Banneker High School Auditorium, Washington, D.C., on December 27, 1949, at the 35th Anniversary of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
I have travelled 8,500 miles in order to be present on this momentous occasion. It took me less than 40 hours to make the trip by aeroplane, in two stages, thanks to modern scientific knowledge. I bring you greetings from Sigma men who are scattered over the continent of Africa. In concert with their comrades-in-arms they are playing their part in the great awakening which has gripped that continent of everlasting spring, having been imbued with the idea of ‘Culture for service and service for humanity’.
What is the nature of the struggle for national freedom in contemporary Africa? What are the forces at work to intensify that struggle? What is the reaction of the African people towards national realization? What is the role of the United States in this attempt of the African towards national self-determination? These are some of the issues I shall attempt to clarify within the limited time at my disposal. Throughout Black Africa, a struggle for national freedom is in the offing, because factors of imperialism have stultified the normal growth of Africans in the community of nations. Consequently, our indigenous people present a sorry spectacle of degraded humanity. Politically, they are dominated by alien races and are denied the basic human rights. Socially, the African has been made to witness discrimination of different kinds against him in his own native land. Economically, the African has been subjected to exploitation of a most heinous type, whilst he vegetates below the minimum subsistence level of existence. Yet, in spite of his plight he has become self-assertive and he is demanding a place in the sun.
What forces have been at work to intensify this struggle of the African for self-determination? Let me take the liberty of referring to comments made by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt during the World War II, when it appeared that certain sections of American society were diffident in participating wholeheartedly in the war. She said: ‘We are fighting a war today so that individuals all over the world may have freedom. This means an equal chance for every man to have food and shelter and a minimum of such things as spell happiness to that particular human personality. If we believe firmly that peace cannot come to the world unless this is true for men all over the world, then we must know in our nation that every man, regardless of race and religion, has this chance. Otherwise we fight for nothing of real value. . . . If the future holds only a repetition of the past, if in each nation there are to be real slaves, even though they do not exist in name, then the boys who say they do not know why they fight have a right to say so. There would be no world worth fighting for and the only men who would have any reason for fighting would be the professional soldiers who fight for the love of fighting.
Once in a while, honor falls upon the right man at the right time.
For Richmond County’s Elijah Peterson, that perfect alignment was a rainy February night in Salisbury when many came from near and far to witness Livingstone College pay tribute to Peterson by inducting him into the college’s Hall of Fame.
A 1956 graduate of Livingstone College, Peterson is a former educator, child’s advocate, community leader and political activist. For the past 16 years, he has served as chairman of the board for Richmond County Community Support, which serves Richmond, Montgomery and Moore counties.
Peterson was among 14 distinguished recipients being honored at the 12th annual Celebration of Livingstone College Leaders Banquet under the theme, “Share Your Love,” benefiting the United Negro College Fund.
The tribute “recognizes successful leaders for their undying commitment and dedication to others,” said Jimmy Jenkins Sr., Livingstone College president. “This award is being bestowed upon individuals who have given tirelessly of themselves as they serve their communities and/or professions, and have demonstrated the qualities of a servant leader.”
Peterson’s recognition drew a large crowd of supporters to the Event Center in Salisbury including Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr., former school board chairman Bruce Stanback, and a team of Peterson’s students from Charles Drew High School in Madison, where he taught 52 years ago.
Carrie Peterson, his wife of 54 years; their three daughters, Clairice, Valerice and Laurice; and his brother, Robert; as well as other family members and friends were there to witness this special occasion in Peterson’s life. He was the only recipient to receive a standing ovation.
Prior to the event, Peterson was the guest of honor at a reception at a local hotel, where he was showered with kind and loving words.
The honoree gives credit to his parents, Mary and Pearlie Peterson, for instilling in him a moral obligation to serve others. “They also modeled their behavior in accordance with the belief that real servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises and complete their commitments,” he said. “They don’t leave a job half done, they don’t quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy and dependable.”
He also credits Livingstone College, where he entered as a freshman at age 16, for providing the foundation for his educational and professional life. After graduating from Livingstone College with a bachelor’s in mathematics, Peterson continued his education at North Carolina A&T State University, where he earned a Master of Science degree in 1961, and a Master of Arts degree in chemistry in 1965.
He was awarded a special certification in physics by the University of North Carolina in 1962 and was one of the first to be selected for certification to teach modern physics. This curriculum was designed to prepare students to understand research being performed by the NASA Space Program.
Every year during his 13 years of teaching physics, Peterson was invited to attend seminars in order to receive updates on the successes and failures of each space launch.
As an educator, Peterson served as a teacher and principal. He taught math, chemistry and physics in three different high schools including Peabody in Troy, Booker T. Washington in Reidsville and Charles Drew.
For 26 years, he served as principal of five different schools including Cameron Morrison State Training School for Boys in Hoffman and Samarkand Manor for Girls in Eagle Springs.
The accolades bestowed upon Peterson are as long as his distinguished career. Highlighting the list are Principal of the Year in 1986 and North Carolina Citizen of the Year in 2012 by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; although he is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
Additionally, many of his awards came through service appointments. In 1976, North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt appointed Peterson to his Advocacy Council on Children and Youth, where he served for 26 years. In 1989, Gov. Jim Martin appointed him chairman of the same and he held that position for eight years.
At that time, the Daily Journal wrote, “Pete Peterson believes in people and he believes in children. We commend Governor Martin for appointing him as North Carolina’s top child advocate.”
Under his leadership, Richmond County Community Support Center has funded services in excess of $8 million.
“We are elated that you are receiving honors befitting the great work that you have done in our community and communities throughout North Carolina,” wrote the executive board and staff of Richmond County Community Support Center to Peterson. “We, too … honor you and give you the highest recognition to all that you have accomplished.”
He has also served as chairperson of the Eighth Congressional District of the N.C. Democratic Party; state chairman of the Black Leadership Caucus; on the board of trustees for Montgomery Community College; is a life member of the NAACP; and trustee board chairman for Mt. Zion United Church of Christ.
In his unselfish and humble nature, Peterson did not accept full credit for his accomplishments. “I am extraordinarily grateful for all the encouragement and support I have received from the wide range of individuals I interacted with while carrying out my life’s work. In the words of the English poet, John Donne, ‘No man is an island.’”
To Mrs. Georgia Adams Morse and the Family of Leonard F. Morse, Jr.:
On behalf of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated let me first extend heartfelt condolences to you at this time of transition for your husband, father and best friend. Mrs. Morse God gave you a special gift in the person of Leonard Francis Morse, Jr., for which we know you are grateful. While it is painful to let go of someone who has been by your side for more than 60 years, no doubt you can celebrate the life and love that you shared with our Brother Morse. We pray that over the coming days you will be strengthened and encouraged by fond memories and the love of friends and family.
In the passing of Brother Morse, the men of Phi Beta Sigma acknowledge losing a special link in its chain. As you know, Leonard Morse, Jr. is the son of our Founder, Honorable Brother Leonard F. Morse, Sr. Because of him, along with Honorable A. Langston Taylor and Honorable Charles I. Brown we exist today, still striving to carrying on the legacy of “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. It is difficult to imagine what it is like to be the direct descendant of one of someone who worked to establish an organization which now moves into its 100th year of existence with a proud record of promoting scholarship and community service. We do know that Bro. Morse, Jr. did his best to represent that legacy, serving in the military with distinction and honor, and in civilian life as a teacher, information technology manager and law enforcement officer. Needless to say, Bro. Morse lived a full and honorable life!
Please know that the entire membership of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity joins with you in remembering and celebrating Brother Leonard F. Morse, Jr. Although we did not know him as you did, he is our Brother and will always live in the hearts and minds of those whom he touched. We pray with you for comfort and peace in the days ahead, and extend ourselves to you as members of Bro. Morse’s “Wondrous Band” of brothers.