Today we launch a new series: Knights Sound Off, and we do so in hopes of lifting the voices of our brothers, the Honorable Knights of Omega Delta Phi in regards to current events, fraternal news, as well as other on-goings. In celebration of Black History Month, we asked our brothers who they believed to be an influential Black leader in history and why.
In commemoration of Black History Month and recognizing the vital importance of remembering and honoring the Black experience in our country’s history; we pay tribute to that history within our brotherhood and in our communities. We took to the network of Honorable Knights to share with us their thoughts on the Most Influential and Beloved Black Leaders in History.
Xi Chapter, University of Oklahoma
“I personally admire Former President Barack Obama for making history by becoming the first African American to become President of the United States. Not only did he raise the standards of leadership but he empowered millions of children who dreamed of becoming leaders but couldn’t do so because of the color of their skin. Thanks to him, any child, knows it to be possible that they can achieve anything: even become president of our nation, an idea that wouldn’t even be possible 50 years ago”
Lambda Chapter, University of Washington
“A historical Black figure whom I consider a hero is Frederick Douglass. He encountered a lot of pain and abuse which motivated him to help and try to free the slaves. After learning how to read, he shared his knowledge with other slaves and passed down that power. Douglass never gave up fighting for the freedom of slaves despite the setbacks he encountered. His selfless work ethic is admirable because he became a voice for people that did not have one at the time”.
Omicron Chapter, University of Wisconsin- Parkside
“A historical Black figure that I think is important is Jackie Robinson. He grew up not too long after the abolishment of slavery and even during his time, White people still had the idea that they were better and would discriminate against Black people. The discrimination consisted of Whites not wanting Blacks to use the same restrooms, drink from the same water fountains, attend the same schools. So when a Black male showed up and said he wanted to play baseball with them, they tried to do anything they could to scare him off. Jackie came and proved the whole world wrong”
Beta Tau Chapter, Portland State University
“I admire Frederick Douglass, be beat the odds and escaped slavery. He taught himself how to read and write, by giving himself the gift of education, he gained a lifetime of options to succeed and prosper in a world that was not built for him. I went through the process of learning how to read and write again after my injury in my time in the Marine Corps. I saw the value of education and I went on to really value it and all the opportunities that it brings. Douglass is a testament to this”
Alpha Omicron Chapter, University of Texas at Dallas
“Whitney Houston was a force. She had talent and was a record breaking, award winning, actress and vocalist who inspired many and carried a grace unlike any other performer of her generation. She battled addiction, domestic violence, and she eventually succumbed to those things but her legacy is widespread and timeless”
Delta Chapter, Texas A&M University
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been the Black leader we hear the most, especially growing up in school. Dr. King was a big proponent of non-violent protest which is the legacy he weaved during the Civil Rights Movement. There are other Black leaders that are just as iconic or influential like Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, and Maya Angelou. Angelou overcame a lot in life but she used her words to spread knowledge and love. There’s also the Black leaders you don’t hear about such as Akon, he doesn’t get much coverage and very few people know about the efforts he is leading in Africa which he does because he feels strongly about the cause”