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July 30, 2003

Black Frat Cosmology

I'm setting you up to get the guts of what has focused my mind this week on things black and my recent experience with the Kwaku Network, the Negrophile and upcoming family reunions. Next will be the story of Monroe, but before I get into that I need to talk about black frats.

Here follows the somewhat stereotyped cosmology of the black greek fraternity system for those of you who missed the cluetrain in college. It should also be fun for those of you who know. You should know that I am a first-class very typical Alpha and this is all coming from my POV.

Alpha Phi Alpha (Black & Old Gold)
This is the fraternity of WEB DuBois, which in some sense is all you really need to know. Alphas are highly ambitious, upper crusty, imperious, snobby and otherwise 'too cold'. They get away with it because more often than not they are brainy and refined. Alphas strive for absolute perfection and so have a reputation for being closet freaks if not straight out queer. Alphas go for noblesse oblige most of the time because they really do believe that they are better than you. When your girl gets tired of your bullshit, she will seek out an Alpha man. You can always tell an Alpha man, but you can't tell him much.

Kappa Alpha Psi (Crimson & Creme)
Deion Sanders would be the perfect Kappa. Kappas are all business and all self. They are flashy and flamboyant and project an image of 'so fresh so clean'. A Kappa has a million dollar smile and so he insures it. Kappas are generally the least concerned with how they rank with other frats. They're just waiting for you to turn your back on your girl, sometimes they don't wait. A Kappa always has to be right and will not let you forget it. The best thing about a Kappa is that if you need some studly looking guys to stand up at your wedding, they will make your pictures look swell. On the other hand, he's probably taller than you. Kappas are all military swagger.

Omega Psi Phi (Purple and Gold)
Omegas are also known as Que Dogs. Ques are loud, proud and idefagetable. Think Eddie Griffin. You have to admire how comfortable they are in their skin. Ques are unpretentious and down to earth. When they express their pride it rather shows they have no couth or fashion sense but their energy and loyalty are awe inspiring. Of all the frats, Ques take their brotherhood most seriously, thus the brands and tats. A Que by himself is nobody, but a pack of Ques are formidable, and actually rather scary. If a Que gets your girl, forget it, she's ruined. Despite the fact that Ques are mostly ugly and fearsome, they have hearts of gold. A Que has got your back for life. I suppose that's why they call them dogs.

Phi Beta Sigma (Pale Blue & White)
Sigmas are the stepchild frat, that is because they are hardheaded pragmatists and don't believe in all those symbols. As a frat they are therefore humble, humanistic and generally fairly selfless. For some reason this makes them the frat most likely to actually do those community service things frats always say they do. Ironically, the service they seem to be best at is throwing parties. Then suddenly you will find the Sigma talent for organization and money grubbing, er financial acumen. Sigmas function best in the real world. If a Sigma gets your girl, you'll never know it.

If, for some reason you are a midwestern farm boy and none of this clicks, think of the Archies. Archie is the Alpha, Reggie is the Kappa and Jughead is the Que. There is no Sigma. They just showed up.

Alphas and Kappas get away with it. Ques and Sigmas don't. Sigmas are subversive and crafty back room gamblers. Ques have animal magnetism and travel in packs. Kappas are sheer blunt force trauma and are insufferable in large numbers. Alphas are calculating, manipulative and given to fantastic schemes for world domination.

From the Matrix:
Morpheus is an Alpha. Neo is a Kappa. Cypher is a Sigma. Tank and Dozer are Ques.

From Star Trek:
The Klingons are Ques, Kirk, Picard and Sisko are Kappas, Ferengi are Sigmas. There is only one Alpha in the Star Trek galaxy and he is Q.

Posted by mbowen at July 30, 2003 09:47 AM

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Ice Ice Baby!! 06!!

Posted by: joseph at July 31, 2003 04:40 PM

I'm afraid to think of how a similar cosmology for the 'Divine Nine' sororities would read.

And where's the love for the Iotas? *grin*

Posted by: Cecily at August 1, 2003 09:19 AM

Unfortunately, I went to school on the West Coast at a PW college, not an HBCU. So I wasn't fortunate enough to know about *nine* sororities. I would also suggest, due to my rather chivalrously stultified upbringing that I would not be the one best qualified to talk about the sisters.

On the other hand, that's never stopped me before.

Posted by: Cobb at August 1, 2003 10:51 AM

This is the "Divine Nine" of which I speak: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0758202709/qid=1059780369/

Back in the day, the NPHC fraternities and sororities used to be called "The Great Eight". With the addition of Iota Phi Theta in the mid 1990s, they became the "Divine Nine".

Chivalry, shmivalry. Break it down for me, Cobb. Oh, it seems that you already have! ;-)

Posted by: Cecily at August 1, 2003 04:27 PM

I actually happened to like Deltas more than AKAs because I never went for poofy women. Dawn, in my 1978 piece was the ultimate soror in my eyes.

Zetas were the spirited ones. If anyone remembers Oaktown's 3-5-7, they always reminded me of the Zetas I knew.

I have to say that on my campus, sorority sisters didn't have much going on. Most of the more serious 'big women on campus' were unaffiliated with sororities. The women prominent in the Black Business Association were almost all GDIs, as well as the early afrocentrics in the Friends of Africa and the anti-apartheid movement plus the female officers of the Black Student Union. AKAs dominated the square and relegated the others into obscurity, but they existed as a chapter before the Alphas had a chapter so all that wasn't very tight either.

We had only two Sigma Gamma Rhos on campus and both of them were transfer students. Basically the AKAs ran the yard. We could have changed things because we had a bunch of Alpha Angels when our pledge class started out. Unfortunately of the 7 originals 4 dropped line and that rather killed the whole spirit. Alphas came back very strong two years later, but by then I was Swayze...

Posted by: Cobb at August 5, 2003 01:19 AM

Posted by: Cobb at August 5, 2003 01:20 AM

I read your black frat cosmology and what I found missing was the part where the entire notion of black "Greeks" is another sad chapter in blacks emulating White Eurocentrism.

First off Brother MBowen, not only did I find your narrative completely indicative of the slave mentality fostered by years of white racist epistemological training, I must admit I've never found such blatant black self-hatred put forth with such pugnacious arrogance.

As I read through your hierarchy of the niggerati, I couldn't help but think how well white folks have done with us.

Instead of bragging on Alpha being the first monkeys to become nigger "Greeks" (I am sure you are missing the irony here, African man); you should be deconstructing a people who are emulating the very Eurocentrism that has enslaved us physically and psychologically.

Have you heard of Molefi Asante or Afrocentrism or Kismet or anything like that. Oh,no. I am sure you haven't. I forgot. You are "Greek".

In a society where we are 12% of the general population and two thirds of its prison population; where there is not a single black in the Senate; where we are the fastest growing aids population; where we have the lowest life expectancy; where we are the highest population living at and/or below the poverty level all you can think of is our parallel to the "Archies."

Wake up nigger. Archie, Reggie, Jughead, and Moose are White. The Sigmas aint the only ones who didn't show up. None of "us" were in there. Maybe if you pulled your head out of your "Greek" ass long enough you could see that.

Excuse me but I got to go. I'm late for my paper bag skin tone test. I'm getting ready to pledge the one where you have to be "light-skinned with good hair." That way I know I will be at the top. I don't wanna be no nigga stepchild! Wish me luck.

Posted by: Fuhreal Brother at August 6, 2003 03:07 AM

HAHAHA.... Now that is some true but funny shit...HAHAHAHA!!!!

Posted by: HAHA at October 30, 2003 04:17 PM

HAHAHA.... Now that is some true but funny shit...HAHAHAHA!!!!

Posted by: HAHA at October 30, 2003 04:17 PM

HAHAHA.... Now that is some true but funny shit...HAHAHAHA!!!!

Posted by: HAHA at October 30, 2003 04:18 PM

HAHAHA.... Now that is some true but funny shit...HAHAHAHA!!!!

Posted by: HAHA at October 30, 2003 04:18 PM

HAHAHA.... Now that is some true but funny shit...HAHAHAHA!!!!

Posted by: HAHA at October 30, 2003 04:18 PM

Do one for the ladies. Now that would be interesting! If you don't post it, at least send it to me.

Posted by: LaToria1006 at December 7, 2003 08:34 PM

Do one for the ladies. Now that would be interesting! If you don't post it, at least send it to me.

Posted by: LaToria1006 at December 7, 2003 08:34 PM

This was hilarious yet eerily accurate. As for some of other the comments I've read. We REEEEALLY need to take ourselves a little less seriously people. Be blessed.

Posted by: Malcolm McGuire at March 21, 2004 03:35 PM

I think it is apparent that some people do not understand what Black Sororities and Fraternities are for. They are not to condescend to the masses that Black Fraternities and Sororities label as GDI. They were created to make people countable for the rest of their lives to help Black people in America. Sadly, there are many chapters of the Divine Nine that have forgotten about the big picture. There are chapters that have the slave mentality, but at the same time there are chapters that are evolving to revolutionize the way their organization functions. I am an Alpha man. And rather than just critique, I am taking action. So those like Fuhreal Brother, don't just talk; do something.

Posted by: Afrikascure at March 23, 2004 10:24 AM


Posted by: billy at April 6, 2004 12:39 PM

I'm a black greek and I'm going to take over the world..hahaha... Want to be Africans, ya'll can sit on the side line and hate... I'm rich b*tch!!!

Posted by: billy at April 6, 2004 12:45 PM

Taking this in fun, I'd change one sentence:

"A Que by himself is nobody, but a pack of Ques are formidable, and actually rather scary"

This should read:

"A Que by himself is formidable, but a pack of Ques are truly scary."

You've never seen two of us wreck a party before?

Posted by: Lester Spence at April 6, 2004 10:31 PM

Cobbs assessment of the major BGLOs is laughable in many ways. Certainly, Omega Men are fiercely loyal and enthusiastic, but are in no way stupid or one dimensional. For instance, my grad chapter is made up of judges, businessmen, engineers and other professionals. In fact I am an attorney. Alphas are very arrogant, but never as talented as they would have you believe. The one thing that Cobb did say that rings true is that many of their members are "queer". More than any black male organization on earth, Alphas are teeming with homosexuals. Regardless, each of the black fraternities, starting with OMEGA, are fine organizations with the highest ideals and committments. Cobb, grow up and get real.

Posted by: Que at May 9, 2004 08:41 PM

I have a real website with my real name and my real face on it. You should read it some time. When you get real, you are welcome put your real name on some real opinions of substance, rather than this lightehearted thing I wrote last summer. (Which you evidently see as an excuse to do some real fagbashing.)

I'm grown. You're hiding.

Posted by: Cobb at May 10, 2004 09:27 AM

As a Que I would like to apologize for my brothas comments. It was evidence of the fierce loyalty you mentioned. I am a lawyer clerking for the chief justice of the Supreme court of GA, just happens to be an Alpha. I havent found them to be teeming with homosexuals. Such bashing does little for the luv between the organizations or the image of Omega Psi Phi. I guess some of us are que dogs and some are Omega men....lol

Posted by: malikjazz2002 at May 31, 2004 12:40 PM

I've always said, most recently to my man Spence, that every Que is secretly an Alpha and every Alpha is secretly a Que. Peace.

Posted by: Cobb at May 31, 2004 12:43 PM

Oh side comment....i always thought the Kappas where teeming with Homosexuals, pretty men...sounds shady...lol. I am jokin of course

Posted by: malikjazz2002 at May 31, 2004 12:43 PM

I think is dialogue is very interesting. Being someone on the outside looking in, I find it funny how sororities and fraternities as a unit have a lot of infighting. Even when I was in college I used to hear of fights between different fraternities and sororities. This has me a little confused because I thought the goal was to promote unity, or maybe its just a competition thing. I have been doing research on the origins of black "greeks" and doesn't look to good. However, I do want your side of the story, so I am not misinformed. I have been asked to join a particular sorority, however I want the "TRUTH", before I associate myself with any organization.

Posted by: Raquel at August 8, 2004 07:04 PM

Wow I didnt know that black people could be so dumb. Martin Luter King and Thurgood Marshall both are alphas. Name any fraternity that have more prominent members to do more for the black community you cant. Given props to Kappa Alpha Psi when they have more gay members than a lil bit. And do I need to mention that the NAACP for the past years have been headed by an Alpha.

Posted by: Gary at September 4, 2004 04:16 PM

Can black people be even more dumb. Martin Luther King and Thurgood Marshall were both Alphas. The Naacp and the National Urban League has been headed by Alphas for the past years. So all the alpha bashing is ignorant. In fact, any frat or sorority bashing is stupid. And for that comement about alphas being queer im just going to say it like this Kappas aint the Gods that u tried to make them out to be (enough said). In fact, why is it that the founders of Kappa Alpha Psi, and Omega Psi Phi origionally set out to become alphas. Look it up. Well 2 of the Kappa Founders. Did I mention that the NAACP is headed by an Alpha Man.No other Frat had more prominent member and also done the most for the black community. Once again an alpha has to regulate and transcend

Posted by: Undisputed at September 4, 2004 04:55 PM

Instead of black cosmotology this should be black garbage another way to hate on the people who actually do something

Posted by: Shawn at September 9, 2004 04:01 PM

This is great and all. but I have to admit. You gotta love an Alpha man. Guys with intellect is what its all about. Being an AKA myself, I need to be close to an alpha.

Posted by: wonderful at September 19, 2004 09:30 PM

As an Alpha Man, I take alot of the things said on the site to be humorous. We as a people claim to cry out for unity but we are the first one's to bash fraternities and sororities. It is easy for someone who has no greek background like COBB and the other dumb ass who refered to alphas as "Monkey Niggers" or some lame shit like that. Instead of taking a weak position by doing nothing and talking about others do something yourself. I am a college brother at Michigan. My girlfriend is an AKA (no gayness here biatch) My mother is a Delta and my father is a Que. During my younger years I was taught the true meaning of love for all mankind. Oh yeah back to community service do something. Im 21 and atleast 4 days out of the week I am involved with some type of community service oh yeah and maintain a 3.84 gpa. So hell yeah Im arrogant especially to dumb asses who dont know what the hell they are talking about. To the non-haters keep elevatin I know I will. Im an Alpha biatch.

Posted by: Alphaman at September 28, 2004 03:35 PM

Read closer bro, Pi Kappa '84.

Posted by: Cobb at September 28, 2004 03:50 PM

Hey my name is Cobb. And Im a loser who dont know anything about Fraternity Life. Im apart of Pi Kappa which im pretty sure none of you ever heard of because we do nothing but disrespect frats who actually do something. I wish I would have pledged but I was not allowed to. Therefore, I make it my lifes work to ride the dick of the Kappas and diss everyone else. Omega Psi Phi for there continuous teachings of brotherhood. For Alpha Phi Alpha for founding the NAACP in 1910 and being known as being all about businees (not the Kapppas) oh yeah and Phi Beta Sigma for there teaching black people that it is best for them to own there own land.Wow thanks for listening to my BS.

Posted by: Sociopath at October 4, 2004 03:01 PM

If you illiterates keep posting your idiocy, I'm going to shut down the thread. You're only making yourself look stupid. So let me spell it out to you just in cas you still don't get it.

Pi Kappa is the Northridge Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. My line, Makasi Sharo, was the first line of the chapter and I was the first to cross. My line was one of the most popular in memory, as we had the Black Student Union president, the VP of the Black Business Association, the captain of the Track Team, and several other notables. The Pi Kappa chapter began a revival of Alpha in Southern Cal due mostly to the high profiles of myself and others we attracted to Alpha.

I've got nothing but love and respect for other black frats and sororities, although I continue to be dumbfounded by some of the low grade intelligences some of their members have displayed here.

Posted by: Cobb at October 4, 2004 03:34 PM

I'm absolutely amazed as to how some of these ludicrous comments are indicative of a true lack of understanding and respect for all. As a proud and educated "OMEGA" MAN, and yes, sometimes....." QUE DOG" it pains me to say that we're still headed in the wrong direction!!! By the way, the "DOG" has nothing to do with any of the insanity mentioned here, much of which has no empirical or substantive value (HENCE, WHERE'S YOUR REFERENCE(S))? Only an "OMEGA MAN" would know where I'm coming from:). This is the very thing that's crippling our society...hearsay and in-bickering amongst ourselves!!!! As educated men and women, we should espouse to teach and evaluate so as to construct better surroundings. Ponder this:
1. Why were our fraternities and sorities founded in the first place?
2. Did not each organization possess members who made positive contributions to "SOCIETY AS A WHOLE"?
3. Do you live you r life in accordance with those things which you "swore" to uphold?
4. Are you a liar?
5. Do you believe in God? Now, Do you belive God?
P.S. To the individual who made the foolish comment, I've never seen an "ugly" Omega Brother! This is the stupid, old, slave master mentality and labeling system which continues to perpetuate our organizations!!!
Peace to the Bruhz & All!

Posted by: QUE4LIFE at October 6, 2004 09:56 AM

If anybody here is trolling for respect and props, this isn't the place to do it, and if you're too sensitive for the ribbing I dish, then I suggest that all your virtue is for nought. Really. Get over yourself.

Anybody who wants to find out seriously what the frats and sororities do, can look at any of their official websites. Here at Cobb, I give a humorous inside view. I don't have any reason to be impressed with what undergraduates do after a six-week pledge program. Please. I understand it's significant if and when you go through it when you're what, 20 years old, but it's not world historic.

I have a category here called Keeping It Right. It's fairly new but will continue. You want to see whom I respect? Check that out. It makes a lot more difference to me if a person is Republican or Democrat than who they had bake sales for in college. So come with that, or go.

Posted by: Cobb at October 6, 2004 10:12 AM

Eveyone is saying this and saying that. The bottom line is enjoy the friendly rivalry and be proud of who you are. I dont agree with Cobb's comment that every Que has an alpha in him WRONG,WRONG. To the brothers of Omega Psi Phi.....HEY QUES!I SAID HEY QUES!I LOVE THE BRUHS!!!ROO!!!

Theo The Great " Gremlin Dog" Fall 02 BETA IOTA

Northern Kentucky University

And yes I earned "The Great"

Posted by: Theo The Great at October 8, 2004 09:35 AM

I would like UNDISPUTED to please tell me which members of Kappa Alpha Psi "set out to become Alphas" Never heard such a ludicrous and unfounded statement in my life. As far as prominent members, all of the fraternities have prominent brothers who have and are continuing to contribute to the black community. Prominent Kappas that truly fulfill the most noblest of purposes, "Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor," include Jonnie Cochran, Jr., one of the greatest litigators of the 20th century and Carl Stokes, the first African-American to become mayor of a major U.S. city. (Cleveland)(And they did it with style) So stop hatin and ask yourself whether you are on pace to join the ranks of Marshall, and these other men you sweat so hard. I am a third-year law student with a job already waiting for me. 1906 was a long time ago. What are you doing in 2004?

Posted by: GQ1911 at November 5, 2004 09:43 AM

Wow, over a year and still going! This is the thread that never ends! Allow me to contribute. First of all my organization's color isn't "pale blue" it is "royal blue." Second, people need to get 2 points when threading: a) this blog entry intended to be serious and b) Cobb is an Alpha and makes it plain as day if anyone would just bother to read. Chill, there are some gay dudes in every frat (except Que probably) but so what! And no black Greek organization currently in existence was founded before 1904, frat is serious but it's nothing like religion that has endored through the ages, it's nothing to have a war over. On my campus, the other frats try to spark stuff w/ me and the other Sigmas and I ignore it because in the end it's trivial. God could care less about what org you belong to and He doesn't appreciate when we allow these not even a century old organizations define who we are.

Posted by: JK at November 9, 2004 07:17 AM

Ques have no Alpha in them, but Alphas wish they had Que in them. The Sons of Blood & Thunder don't play that! Not even those of us who practice law. To Malikjazz2002, the supposed Bruh who spoke against Bro. "Que" (who posted on May 9), you are CAT! Cobb insulted Omega Men with his comments and all you could do was kiss up. "A Que alone is nothing", Ques are "ugly"...no REAL Omega Man would let that pass. Malik, if bruhs knew who you were, you would be taken to the green. Probably an impostor. Que4Life, you are right when you say that the Dawg image has nothing to do with insanity- good to see that you and "Que" are true Sons of Blood & Thunder. Ah QUE PSI PHI Ohhhh!

Posted by: Law Dawg at November 30, 2004 02:36 PM

Just so that you all know, the NAACP was founded in 1909, I noticed someone put 1910, it was the Urban League that was founded in 1910.

Posted by: correction at January 9, 2005 03:09 PM


Posted by: EVE at February 3, 2005 06:37 PM