"To the NPHC at the University of Mississippi"(University of Mississippi, 2017)
I transferred to the University of Mississippi (from Macalester College) in 2009 when my daddy died. In my first semester, I pledged an NPHC fraternity—the Eta Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. It was a fork in road moment for me for many reasons (some of which I'll get into in other places at another time). Like a lot of black students at Ole Miss (and similar Historical White College and Universities), I found community and support in Sigma. I found friendship. I was forced to find maturity.
In 2016, I returned to the university as faculty, and in 2017 agreed to serve in an official capacity as Eta Beta's chapter advisor, another opportunity to find other things in a thing that has become a part of who I am.
In this talk, I reflect on some of that—the looking and finding—and more to the point on the fraught history of NPHC organizations at the University of Mississippi. The campus did not integrate until 1962. The first Black Greek Letter Organization was not chartered until 1974. The Ole Miss Sigmas followed in 1975.