Today started out like any ordinary day. I woke up around 7 a.m. and went to grab a bite for breakfast. I watched an episode of one of my favorite crime shows and then proceeded with some housecleaning (actually that was unordinary). Afterwards, I got to the computer and went to login to my Facebook account when I noticed some troubling news.
In my news feed, I saw a lot of condolences to one of my fraternity brothers. I saw them on our chapter’s group page and on the personal pages of several fraternity brothers and sorority sisters. One of our very own died as the result of a gunshot wound. It was shocking to say the least. Before I continue I would like to give a brief description of my fraternity.
I am a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. We are one of the nine historically black fraternities and sororities. We have chapters on virtually every major college campus in America. Over the years I’ve fellowshipped with members from surrounding campuses such as the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, N.C. State, Elon University and UNC- Chapel Hill. I pledged my chapter, Eta, during the spring of 2007 at North Carolina A&T State University. I pledged with 23 other guys who are known as my line brothers. Our sister organization is Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. The girls who pledged at my campus chapter, Zeta Alpha, are known as my line sisters. I have 15 of them. Of course, I’ve formed close bonds with Sigmas/Zetas from our chapter who crossed before and after I did. A few weeks ago I had lunch with one of the neos (term for new boys) who just pledged a few weeks ago. The fact of the matter is there is a unique bond of brotherhood and sisterhood I share with every member of these respective organizations.
Today has been a rough day for everyone in my chapter, particularly his line brothers he pledged with in 2004. I didn’t know the guy personally and may have met him only a handful of times over my five years in the fraternity, but we still share a common bond of brotherhood that makes this a sad day for me as well. I’ve been in contact with many of my brothers and sisters and we’re all in a state of disbelief. It’s never easy to accept the sudden death of any person you know, but I don’t think any of us expected the life of this young educated family man to come to such a violent conclusion.
I will be in Greensboro later today for a prior engagement and will likely stop by the yard (slang term for campus) to see if any of the brothers are out. I’m sure many of them who live in the area will be around this week to reminisce and comfort one another.
The exact details are still forthcoming as to why it happened, but most suspect it was the usual culprit that has prematurely ended the lives of promising young men of color for generations—black on black crime. This epidemic of killing our own has got to stop. I don’t advocate violence of any sort, but it seems this type of violence happens far too often. Just as I was vocal about the Trayvon Martin incident, I’m just as vocal about this senseless act of violence. Black men in this country cannot advance to the levels we wish to aspire if we’re too busy killing off one another.
This tragedy is a reminder to all that it’s always important to live every day to the fullest and make as big of a positive impact as possible. We should also take the time out to cherish our loved ones on a daily basis and let them know how much we love them. My prayers of comfort and healing go out to his family, friends and numerous members of the blue & white family whose lives were touched by him.
Farewell my brother.
Author’s Update: As of yesterday, a man has been charged in the shooting and is currently being held without bail at the Guilford County jail. More details can be found at the following link: http://www.news-record.com/content/2012/05/02/article/person_critically_wounded_in_greensboro_shooting.