I’m writing this article during the ongoing (so-called) Greek Week, which ends Aug. 13.
It’s sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania (NPHCSP), founded in 1930, whose “stated purpose and mission” is “unanimity of thought and action … in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its [Black] member organizations.”
Well, as a member of one of those Black fraternal organizations, I respectfully ask that the NPHCSP and all Black fraternities and all Black sororities and all Black members of those organizations to immediately cease and desist from referring to itself, themselves, and ourselves as Greeks or Black Greeks.
This is a respectful request, not a condescending lecture. It is not designed to be judgmental or antagonistic. Instead, it is designed to be a message of helpful suggestions along with enlightening provocation. You may accept it. Or you may reject it. I simply ask that you at least consider it.
Ever since I pledged my beloved fraternity – Kappa Alpha Psi – over 40 years ago at historic Cheyney University, America’s first HBCU, I cringed every time I heard and still cringe every time I hear members of the Divine Nine (which includes each of the nine Black fraternities and sororities) refer to themselves as Greeks or Black Greeks or their organizations as Greek.
Here’s the background: The first white fraternity in America was Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776 at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. The first Black non-collegiate fraternity was Sigma Pi Phi, founded in 1904 in Philly. It’s better known as the Boule. And the first Black collegiate fraternity was Alpha Phi Alpha, founded in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
But regardless of whether they were white fraternities or Black fraternities, their foundation is directly from the country of Egypt (correctly called Kemet) on the continent of Africa.
At least 2,000 years before the Greeks did their fraternity thing, the Egyptians had already originated their “Wisdom Teaching” and their “Sophia” (meaning sophisticated or wise) rites of passage, which the Greeks later tried to copy with their own pledge program. The Greeks referred to the Egyptians’ thing as the Mystery School. And that’s because when the Greeks asked the Egyptians what it was they were secretly doing, the Egyptians politely told the Greeks that it was none of their business and that it would remain a mystery to the Greeks.
While the Greeks’ pledge program generally lasted for weeks or months, the Egyptians’ rites of passage – which included a mental obstacle component, ritualistic ceremony, secret passwords and handshakes and mostly cultural and spiritual enlightenment – lasted for years.
So how is it that the Greeks get all the credit for the creation of the fraternity system? Well, the short answer is commercial trade and military power. Initially, Egypt had immigration laws to prohibit too many Greeks from coming into the country. Although the Egyptians agreed to do business with the Greeks, they didn’t want them moving in too much and taking over the country. Of course, the Greeks got greedy and wanted more. And when they couldn’t get it through trade and negotiation, they took it by force as a result of their violent aggression and lethal weapons. Alexander The Great invaded Egypt in 332 BC. And supporters of Aristotle plundered Egypt’s “Royal Library” where many of the secret documents were kept.
By the way, it wasn’t just the fraternity system that was stolen and plagiarized by the Greeks. It was also the so-called “alphabet,” too. The Greek alphabet has African roots, specifically from the Egyptian “demotic” symbols. These symbols are similar to hieroglyphics (correctly referred to as medu neter). The word “demotic” comes from the word “democracy,” which means “from the people.” And that term was used because this ancient “demotic” script was used by the common Egyptian people.
The Greek alphabet was copied from this Egyptian demotic system as a result of expanded trade with Egypt beginning in 600 BC.
As an aside, I must mention that the Amazons of Greek mythology were actually symbols of African matriarchal societies.
And Plato himself acknowledged that his own philosophical teachings were from Egypt.
In addition, the Pythagorean Theorem, which is a geometric theory pertaining to right angles, originated in Egypt.
Furthermore, the real Father of Medicine is not Hippocrates but instead is Imhotep, an Egyptian, who was born 2,000 years before Hippocrates.
And did you know that the shields of each of the nine Black fraternities and sororities have Egyptian symbols on them? Well, they certainly do:
Alpha Phi Alpha (1906)- Sphinx
Alpha Kappa Alpha (1908)- Sacred Ivy
Kappa Alpha Psi (1911)- Scroll/Papyrus
Omega Psi Phi (1911)- Magical Lamp
Delta Sigma Theta (1913)- Pyramid
Phi Beta Sigma (1914)- Magical Blue
Zeta Phi Beta (1920)- Magical Blue
Sigma Gamma Rho (1922)- Magical Lamp & Quill Pen
Iota Phi Theta (1963)- Magical Lamp & Centaur
Don’t accept any of what I’m telling you simply because I’m telling you. Do the research yourself and you’ll find out that what I’m saying is the documented truth. For example, begin by reading “Stolen Legacy” by George G.M. James, “The African Origin of Civilization” by Chiek Anta Diop, and “Secrets of the Great Pyramids” by Peter Tompkins.
When you read those books, you’ll learn even more about how the white/Aryan Greek fraternity system was stolen from Egypt in Africa and you’ll therefore learn that we should no longer credit the white/Aryan Greek foreigners and plagiarizers, but instead credit the Egyptians who are ancestors and originators of all the Black fraternities and all the Black sororities as well.
I must repeat that my purpose here is not to lecture you good brothers and sisters. I do not intend to be judgmental or critical. Instead, I hope to simply provide a message of helpful suggestions along with enlightening provocation. You may accept it. Or you may reject it. I only ask that you at least consider it.
I hope that this at least provokes a dialogue regarding who we, as African descendants really are, and what we, at some point in the present or the future, should call ourselves. I must be honest and admit that I wish that members of the Divine Nine would not call themselves or their groups “Greeks,” “Black Greeks,” or “Black Greek organizations.” Because by doing so, you credit the white/Aryan Greeks and completely ignore the Egyptians.
The best way to describe this is with the following example: Giving credit to the white/Aryan Greeks and completely ignoring the Egyptians is like a situation wherein a foreigner steals the house built by and lived in by your father/mother for his/her family, including you, and after your father/mother are killed by the foreigner, you willingly and proudly keep paying rent to that invader. Isn’t there something wrong with that picture?
We’re African. We’re Black. We ain’t Greek. Not this week. Not any week.