Photographic Conceptualizations of Jarrad Henderson

Posts tagged “Brotherhood

And the Winner Is….

“What do you think?” asked a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. who stopped me as I walked up to the balcony.  I hesitated to field her question because I was ready to finish watching the Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) perform their step routine, which was drawing incredible applause from the crowd at the Atlanta Civic Center.

This young lady was convinced that the first National Sprite Step Off competition was rigged, that ZTA was drawing all of their excitement simply because they were white.  So as I contemplated my answer, I knew the truth wouldn’t be well received.

“It’s a step show,” I responded, “and as long as you realize that stepping is all about promotion and recruitment, then it doesn’t really matter if they win or lose.” She quickly responded, “No, I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta baby, we don’t recruit. If they let these white girls win, I’m turning in my membership card!”

My first thought was “so… you’re telling me that a sorority, which is the largest of the Divine Nine Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) with a surplus of 350,000 members, does not recruit? Not one member?!”  My second thought came two hours later.  “I hope the DST membership office gets that young lady’s card like she promised.” (more…)


My Big Brother

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I am the oldest sibling in my family, but when it comes time for me to look for advice, from a brotherly perspective, I turn to my Big Brother Lasana Hotep.  He’s a big reason why I am a part of my wonderful Fraternity.  Hotep recently came down to Mizzou to do a presentation about the relevance of Black History in contemporary society.  I was ticked at the Black community at Mizzou because a total of 3 people were in attendance.  Now, where as some would not of cared about attendance as long as they got paid, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s more about working for the community than money for Hotep.  It was good seeing him again.  We’ve talked about creating some projects regarding Media Literacy and the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that will be the direction of my PhD study.  I want to develop media literacy classes using pop culture.

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New Blood. Old Feeling.

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There is a pure spirit in this point of a young mans life.  You’re so ready to finish when really you’re just beginning.  Something about the road you’ve traveled, the things you accomplish that you never thought you could, and the triumph of controversy makes the probate the ultimate measure of Fraternity/Sorority allegiance.  Honesty can be found here.  The probate is the formal introduction of the newest members of a BGLO to the community.

Despite popular beliefs, this show isn’t only about the hype and the excitement that surrounds the showmanship of the probate itself.  In this moment is an opportunity to identify the men/women that the community can hold accountable to the high standards of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, etc.  The people in the audience bear witness to the public pledge that these men and women stand for something bigger than themselves.  It is the prophytes and the community that have to hold the brothers ACCOUNTABLE for their actions (or lack thereof).

I have always maintained the stance that if we, as Alphas, are not doing things that align with “Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love For All Mankind.” then we have reached the apex of our greatest usefulness, at which point, we will have no purpose.  This was the exact prediction that was made in 1952 in the words of my Jewel, Henry Arthur Callis,  “I fear that in another generation, the relationship of the years 1890-1920 in the establishment and growth of Alpha and the subsequent Greek letter societies, will be lost entirely. When that occurs our usefulness will be over.”

The energy one feels during that moment of purity, that sizzling sensation that runs down your spine when you’re unmasked for the first time, that feeling of invincibility in your new BGLO should be kept close to your heart. Harness it, Cherish it, Love it, it needs to resurrect itself through your commitment to the very community you stood in front of to proclaim your victory.  That same fire needs to be present in your attitude and position at all times.  Manipulate it to help your community, not to destroy it.  We ALL must remember those years of 1890-1920!!!  WE ALL MUST REMEMBER WHO WE ARE!!!!

But enough logic and theory (THX Lauryn).  Congrats to the Spring 2009 initiates of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Zeta Alpha Chapter at the University of Missouri who welcomed four new brothers to the Frat last night.  Here are some flicks.  Please leave comments.


First Take: Big XII Conference

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This weekend was the first time ever I was able to sit down and participate as a conference registrant.  I’m always on the other side of the equation: organizing, hosting, directing…It was a relief to be on the other side for once.  The 32nd Annual Big XII Conference on Black Student Government draws Black students from over 32 schools once a year to celebrate leadership, teach skills, and gathering like minds motivated to make to best out of the college experience.  Not only was this a great time for the Mizzou LBC crew and I to learn more about ourselves as leaders, but to also reconnect with some old friends and make new ones. (more…)


Beyond This Place: A Neo’s Perspective (Fundamentals of Photo J Final)

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I have spent 5 months cultivating the foundation of my Beyond This Place project which has taken many strides through the course of the semester.  Finally I present to you the first chapter, in what I hope to be a long series of stories, of Beyond This Place.  You may view the Sound Slides presentation at:

http://web.missouri.edu/~jhvf6/Soundslides/BTP_NEO/

Once I came to the University of Missouri, I made it a point to get to know my Fraternity brothers here.  The beautiful thing about true brotherhood is that it’s never conditional.  Instantly, we connected and one brother in particular began to remind me of myself.  Montel Evans allowed me into his experience as a neo of ΑΦΑ and I appreciate that.  Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a life long project to document issues of BGLO including their relevance in the 21st Century, interracial membership, and homosexuality/hypermasculinity (just to name a few).  This first video will serve as my foundation for hopefully being able to leverage my idea for a book project. (Anybody got sponsors? lol.)

I REALLY NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!  I DONT WANT TO JUST HEAR “IT’S GOOD”.  TELL ME WHY!  TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE COME OUT OF THIS PROJECT!!!

You can comment directly on this blog be clicking the comment text below.

Thank you all in advance for your feedback!  Have a Happy and Safe Holiday.

More to come from the “Cradle of BGLO”—Howard University when I visit during my break from graduate school.  D.C. get at me!  I need some guides when I get there…lol.  One semester of Grad school down, three semesters to go!