Amidst all the aggravation, animosity, anger and investigation, one ray of hope and brotherhood is shining through in the personage of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (also known as A Phi A), who have generously offered to pay the full cost of young Michael Brown's memorial and funeral services.
In the face of all this valiant family has endured, and the community itself going through the shock of realizing that they are indeed living in a police state, this is much needed good news, in the midst of unspeakable grief.
This would not be the first time the great fraternity has stepped up in the breach to bring about a positive solution. This is the fraternity that did the fundraising, and commissioned the artist to erect the first ever monument of a Black man, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr - a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity - in Washington, DC.
Below is the letter sent to the family, as well a brief history of A Phi A:
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity To Pay Full Cost Of Michael Brown's Memorial And Funeral ServicesStanding in their tradition of service and social justice, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has offered to pay the entire costs for the memorial and funeral services of Michael Brown, the 18 year old teen who was shot to death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9.Al Sharpton and Kimora Lee Simmons are among other notables who offered to pay the services, but Alpha has stepped to the plate and requested that the expenses not be shared with any other person or organization.Brown’s services, under the direction of Austin A. Layne Mortuary, Inc., are incomplete at this time.Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood among African descendants in this country. The visionary founders, known as the “Jewels” of the Fraternity, are Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy.The Fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice, both educationally and socially, at Cornell. The Jewel founders and early leaders of the Fraternity succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha’s principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character, and the uplifting of humanity.Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were established at other colleges and universities, many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell. The first Alumni Chapter was established in 1911. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices faced by African-Americans. Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through leaders such as: W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, and many others. True to its form as the “first of firsts,” Alpha Phi Alpha has been interracial since 1945.
Kudos to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to their generosity at a time of great turmoil and confusion. While the plans are thus underway for services, this serves in large measure to relieve some of the stress the family has been under.
Stay Blessed &
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