So…I did a thing.
On March 18 at 6:51 PM, I crossed the burning sands of the incomparable Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. I am grateful to be a part of the Bond of Brothers hailing from the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Inkster Alumni Chapter. I am looking forward to fellowship, discipleship, and service!
SPR 2022 AAYI Kurious George
1# ♦️ ACE ♦️ Kurious George
Shout out to my brothers, 8 ♦️’s K.U.T.Z. D.E.E.P.: [MEMBERS REDACTED]
That’s what I published on FB. But how did I end up
pledging undergoing the membership training academy for ΚΑΨ?
Simple: I was asked.
My wife and I were invited over to the house of the Church Lady who cooks the fellowship food for Thanksgiving 2021. Look, if a momma invites you over for Thanksgiving dinner, you go. Especially if it’s a black woman. Especially especially if it’s the Church Lady designated to cook the food at church during fellowship. You know how many mommas, grand mommas, and aunties she had to vanquish in the kitchen to reign supreme???
At any rate, my wife and kids are there with Our Host’s family, folks we do not know. Our Host, however, declares that we are now part of her (extended) family. There’s about twenty of us, but under normal, non-COVID circumstances, Our Host has over upwards of eighty! Man if Our Host has that kind of reputation such that at least a dozen black families are willing to go to her house to eat during Thanksgiving than anywhere else, you know she can throw down in the kitchen! Bonus: her husband is a dessert master—his German chocolate and rum cakes have a brotha forgetting about minding his sugar intake.
We’re all chumming it up and our kids win everyone over. My kids are legendary for being well-mannered and behaved, to which I always reply, “You gotta start them young.” We were the only people there with “young” kids; everyone else’s children are adult-aged. In other words, if there was an honorary trophy for being the most respectable among respectable black families, my wife and I would win it.
Now I can address the content folks came for: Our Host asks me if I am Greek. I say no. She targets me because my wife has been a “candidate in waiting” for Delta Sigma Theta (as our church is thick with Deltas), but my status is unknown. She asks if I am interested in becoming Greek, and I said that I was at one time, but have not given the subject much consideration over the years. She then replies that the Alumni chapter in which her husband participates is taking on a line in the spring, and I should give it some thought.
Readers, when the Church Lady who slays in the kitchen with such might that non-blood relatives are willing to drive to her house from over an hour away for Thanksgiving says that her husband is a Kappa and that I should think about joining, it may sound like a suggestion on paper, but the tone used to deliver the message is heard not like a wink, nudge, but a shove and shake. A few weeks and $2500 later (ouchy), I am undergoing the process with seven other candidates.
That’s it. I do not have all these lifelong dreams and desires to be a Kappa like some of my LBs—legacy, dropping out of line due to hazing, failing out of school because of grades and all that. When I was in undergrad at Tuskegee, the Kappas were off the yard due to hazing, ironically. I toyed with the idea of joining other frats, but I would not let anyone touch me, and I intended to graduate with “Suma or Magna Cum Laude.”
My Greek aspirations were supposed to be a big surprise to my inlaws. My BiL is a Kappa, and his wife was an aspiring Delta who would soon cross after I did—we are even both Aces! The surprise is that everyone who has ever known me IRL could “see” me as an Alpha.
Welp, they didn’t ask. Though I did make a request to a former Pastor, who is low-key an Alpha, to write my letter of rec. He said that while he was disappointed in my choice, he would gladly write a letter on my behalf.
Fundamentally, though, why did I become a Kappa? Simple: my wife and I were already trying to figure out how we could become more involved with our community. Our social lives are practically non-existent, and we’ve struggled making and keeping friends for seventeen years. This is one step towards ensuring that we will always be involved with something. During my MTA process, participating in a food drive was the most fulfilling activity that I have contributed to since the 2000s when I was in Lansing and Trinity Church joined with other local churches to Feed Lansing. We drove all around the city delivering boxes of food to people who lack transportation among other things.
This recent local food drive was eye-opening. Folks driving Volvos and BMWs came through, just as the minivans packed with ten passengers that barely had space for the food. The COVID years have been tough for everyone. Even after we were done with one food drive, I was able to shuttle our extra food to another church where they had run out of meat. They praised God for their prayers being answered. That felt great.
ΚΑΨ is a fraternity with Christian origins, after all.
The last motivating factor for me joining Kappa is because membership is permanent, barring I lose my mind and commit some henious crime. As I have said, maintaining friendships has been tough for my wife and me. I turned to the internet, and have managed to get banned from every forum I can find where I know black people congregate (the last, a private discord for BNP, was particularly painful because I wasn’t given a reason).
A man can only take so much rejection in a lifetime.
Well, they can’t get rid of me now.