This Que Wants To “Make The D9 Black Again”

The man behind the controversial shirt that made waves at the AGP explains his motives.

The Atlanta Greek Picnic is an annual function for members of the Greek Lettered community. Between community service, parties and a picnic; Atlanta Greek Picnic gives members the opportunity to congregate, fellowship and network among one another.

At the picnic, numerous members of the Divine Nine sport paraphernalia that showcases their love for their respective organizations. As a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. (Shoutout to the Zeta Chapter at Virginia Union University) I made my way to Atlanta to join in. But with a purpose.

I chose to wear a shirt at the AGP that I knew would bring some controversy, but it would also bring up a conversation that many in the Divine Nine are scared to have. There is a historical context to the shirt. It is bigger than the phrase. That is what I intended on explaining to individuals in person.

However, I realized in this generation, that nobody wants to speak face to face. They would rather speak their piece over the internet. I planned to wear this shirt for months before Atlanta Greek Picnic. For those who know me, activism through fashion is just as important as activism through my voice and literature. Such a shirt like this is nothing new to me. I have worn Sweaters saying “Black Female Consumption Only” or “Everybody Wanna Be Black Until It’s Time To Be Black,” in the past. I have also worn shirts saying “Malcolm Taught Me” or “Blacker The College, The Sweeter the Knowledge.”

My inspiration stems from the history that I love to study. It comes from my love for my people. I just want to see my people thrive. I made a promise to my mom before she passed away that I was going to do something to change the world. Historically, black people’s kindness can be looked at as a weakness. In my opinion, integration may not have been the best thing for Blacks for this exact reason, the fear of an infiltration and then a takeover.

The history of black organizations and businesses will continue to end with the same exact result if we continue to allow any and everyone to join. It seems like Blacks can never have anything of their own. Then we will cry about Culture Vultures and people “appropriating” our culture. Then when non-Black members accede to the Divine Nine, they are put on a pedestal and praised just because they’re not black. There are a few examples of this, including the White Kappa who shimmied and became the most famous Divine Nine member. He didn’t do that; black folks did that.

I see people show their dislike for people like YesJulz, but chapters are crossing people just like her every semester.

The Divine Nine will be controlled by non-Black members soon if we continue on this path. Blacks feel if we make our organizations inclusive then we look better than white organizations but in reality, they do not care. White people would not go this hard for their Black members, but Blacks will always put down a brotha speaking truth to allow their white peers to remain comfortable.

It is more about the infiltration than solely not wanting certain races to be a part of the Divine Nine. Will white members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon stand up for their black members like black people are doing for the non-black members of the Divine Nine? I’d say probably not.

I fear that the Divine Nine will be controlled by non-Blacks shortly. It is disheartening to see Black Divine Nine members remain oblivious to the potential takeover of our organizations. That was the inspiration behind the shirt. Not to shun the non-Black members but to let the Divine Nine know that we’re getting to the point where we are going to integrate our organizations to where we won’t control them any longer.

Everyone does not deserve an invitation to The Cookout!




  1. Terrell Watson

    June 29, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Great points an read numba

  2. Dr Safisha Hill

    June 30, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Right on my brotha.. I agree 110 percent..I am also an activist..and I teach Black Studies. I don;t sugar coat, I don;t scratch and I don;t jiggaboo.. I don’t preference my comments by saying…”not to offend anyone but… (meaning…there is a white student in class, and I hope that your feelings are not hurt if i say the words white people..). I love my DST and I love my black people.. even though so many of us hate ourselves.. Thank you for speaking TRUTH..

  3. Neisha

    June 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you frat. There is so much truth in what you wrote. I’m proud to be a member of DST and I love the foundation that all D9 was created, stood and still standing for. I’m afraid that since we are trying to be “socially acceptable in society” that we will lose our voices and the voices of our founders. I would hate to see our sororities and fraternities be taken over by those who don’t understand the struggle of what it means to fight for something when others told you NO. Thank you my brotha for speaking Truth and Wisdom.

  4. Tobias Estes

    June 30, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    And what statistics do you have to back these claims besides just your observations which are clearly limited. Do you have the number of non black students in these organizations to show that they will take over shortly? And define shortly? Is that a year, 5, 10, etc. or is this hysteria

    • Paula Smaw

      June 30, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      I don’t see anything wrong with his shirt. Just sayn what a lot of us probably think. HBCU s under attack as it is, why do we have to relinquish what we built and worked so hard for.

      • Nathan Stone

        September 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm

        Do you have any statistics on what “a lot of us probably think”. Is that what they teach you at your college? Sad. Whatever happen academic rigor, research, logic, reasoning, facts, truth, etc.? As the saying goes you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

      • Paula Smaw

        September 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

        Nathan I used the word probably..doesnt need statistics..and still entitled to my opinion..go be bigly somewhere

    • Aaron

      October 19, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Sounds like some has been walking in the dark…no stats, just my observation…this is Gerald’s conscious truth your’s my be different

      • Aaron

        October 19, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        I support Gerald 100%…stats or no stats Mr. Estes

  5. Chevonne Brawner

    June 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    As a non D9 person but someone who belongs to a organization that was founded because men of color were not allowed in Lay Catholic organizations, I can relate. We have none black members in our organization, however, they understand that this organization was founded for and about black people. They are people who stand with us and understand why we are who we are. Some have children who are black and some are just whites who have fought for blacks and with them. So We know that will not happen with our organization because anyone who comes to our organization are schooled from the beginning to know who, what, and why we are who we are. KofPC

  6. Brother Will

    June 30, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    As a D9 member I have seen other races become a part of many of the D9 organizations. However, the percentage of these people joining is still very low. So trying to alarm people of a “problem” that doesn’t exist just seems premature and in this case, ignorant as fuck.

    100% agree that having a white member step on the yard does not call for everyone circling them with applause and acceptance. Like they are doing something so foreign to us. That indeed is bullshit.

    But getting to the point of insinuating a BLACKS ONLY rule or a quota of “other” races a D9 organization should accept is hella ignorant. Are we going to continue as black people to want to be accepted in this world, but circle back to not accepting others?

    • D Dudley

      July 1, 2017 at 5:27 pm


    • Aaron

      October 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      That’s the problem, we as a people spend to much time trying to “fit in” or being accepted by a people who will never accept blackness

  7. darkhouse1906

    July 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Well…I wrote the Divine Nine…and nothing you said about ‘The Divine Nine will be controlled by non-Black members’ has any basis in historical or contemporary fact. Nothing. Your shirt is just an attempt at being provocative without having an coherent argument behind it, and it does one of the worst things you can do: it plays on the visceral feelings of black people in order to create a point where there isn’t one.

    More than that, it’s sad because it goes against the ethos of our nine organizations which is to treat each and every person who applies to our organizations on their own merit, unlike those like SAE, which have historically adopted the tools of white supremacy. And yeah, I also wrote Blackballed, a book on white supremacy, white fraternities and sororities, so I know the difference.

    Critical thinking is just that, critical thinking. And sometimes, it’s much more than a quippy slogan on a t-shirt.

    • D Dudley

      July 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Mic Drop

    • DrNyquil1906

      July 4, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      I would love to see what he has to back his theory.

  8. Derrick

    July 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    This is stupid. There aren’t that many non blacks in the D9 . The ones we have were welcomed in by someone and earned it just like he did . The problem with the D9 is not lack of blackness it’s lack of active members and lack of goddamn common sense. GTFOH

  9. Natalie Duncan Hambleton

    July 3, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Don’t instigate problems where there are none. Your tee shirt does not beg constructive nor critical analysis or discourse. It begs for those of us who have “issues” to speak out in ways that do not support nor aid our cause for betterment/survival.

    What you are promoting is ignorance, yours and others. There are those members of our D9 who are not/were not black who have stood, fought, been beaten, and jailed for us along with us. There are those of us who are in the D9 who are black who are trash and should have never been allowed in the organizations.

    What are you doing in your community? Do you mentor? What have you built? What principles of the esteemed Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated do you yourself exhibit and promote on a daily basis? Or do you just show up at social events wearing tee shirts hoping to stir the pot of stupidity?

  10. Pingback: Commentary: Make The Divine 9 Financial Again - HBCU Gameday

  11. mizheart

    July 4, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    If your shirt said let’s make the D9 financial again; that’s conversation that should be had…

    • Pj

      July 6, 2017 at 7:58 am

      This. ☝🏾

  12. Rick Cave 1963

    July 6, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    What would you say to your own frat brothers who are non-Black? If your really feel what you say, start by taking the issue up with your National President. IMHO, the best way to start the organization that you envision is to ‘Start your own Organization.”

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