An Epistle for Troy Brown III (aka Trip) to Read at Age 21

All the world is a stage
And all men are merely players.
Each man has his entrance and his exit
And in that life time, one man plays many parts1:

At stage One, Trip, you have now begun as an infant
You will grow to be educated, then the to be a lover and warrior
Experiences of life will teach you how to judge good from error
And when all is said and done you will become a full Man of Quality
A man who is: Free, confident, respected, and informed
Unique, manifesting excellence, successful
Responsible, loyal, committed, uplifts humanity
One who perseveres, is hard/smart-working
Loves God, Continually Learns, and Maintain his integrity

You, as a future man of quality, are in your infancy (Stage One)
Your parents will continually love you throughout your life
But you do not belong to your parents
You will have your own thoughts.
Your soul has built on the past but now
Dwells in the house of tomorrow where only you can visit.
Your parents are the bow from which you as a living arrow are sent forward
The Archer, who is God, sees the house of tomorrow2,
This house is the mark upon the path of the infinite
And so, God bends the bow (your parents) with all of His might
So that you (as the arrow) may go swift and far

Your parents rejoice in the bending of the bow by the Archer
For even as God loves you (the arrow) so
He loves the bow a (your parents) that is stable

My Best Wishes to you as you start this wondrous
Journey into the cosmos

– Furman E. Glenn Sr, PhD (2016/07/17)
   1. As you Like IT, Shakespeare
   2. The Prophet

Men of Quality-Reflections from 21 Years Ago

Recently, I came across a letter I received February 11, 1996 from a Fraternity Brother from San Diego, CA.

Recently, I came across a letter I received February 11, 1996 from a Fraternity Brother from San Diego, CA.  Earlier that year, I wrote him inquiring about a mentoring program that had been created by Omega Men in San Diego.  The name of that program was “Men of Quality”.  Omega Men across the country, especially in Louisville, were actively mentoring young black males.  We took notice that San Diego Brothers had formalized their mentoring efforts.  We (Omega Men in Louisville) also decided upon the “Men of Quality” name and moved on to create our long-standing mentoring efforts.

That 1996 letter reminded us that Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was created with four cardinal principles; Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift.  Principles that Men of Omega are expected to strongly uphold.  So, it is refreshing now, in looking back twenty-one years, to know that the Men of Quality Organization is firmly rooted on Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift.

We continually inform our young mentees of their ascent to manhood, their need for scholarship, their drive for perseverance and the need to uplift others.  One of our Omega Brothers, Dr. Furman Glenn, a renowned retired Chemist, often gives a presentation entitled “What is a Man of Quality”.  Dr. Glenn cites over thirty characteristics of a Man of Quality.  I noted four of those characteristics relative to the cardinal principals:

Relative to Manhood, Dr. Glenn states that a man of quality is a free man of great courage!

Relative to Scholarship, he states that a man of quality must excel educationally!

Relative to Perseverance, a man of quality must work hard, work longer and work smarter than others!

Relative to Uplift, a man of quality must be loyal, supportive, trustworthy and provide for others!

Without fail, at every Men of Quality meeting in each of our schools, we instill elements of those principles and characteristic into students.  In 1996, we stood before the Jefferson County Board of Education and stated our goal:  To help young men set goals and to help them realize that the future belongs to those who are prepared.  Twenty-one years later, our aim remains the same!  We pledge our continued commitment to young men of color.  Now, more than ever, we realize the importance of strong African American Male role models!

—Audwin Helton