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When the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi talk about “Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor” being great authors is one thing that is not passed up on.

To celebrate Black History this month, we at Watch The Yard have created a list of some of our favorite books authored by members of the Black fraternity.

Check out the list below as well as links where you can buy the books in paperback or digital form to add to your collections.

1. Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire

Reginald Lewis crossed the Alpha Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 1963

“Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun? is the inspiring story of Reginald Lewis: lawyer, Wall Street wizard, philanthropist — and the wealthiest black man in American history.

When six-year-old Reginald Lewis overheard his grandparents discussing employment discrimination against African Americans, he asked, “Why should white guys have all the fun?” This self-assured child would grow up to become the CEO of Beatrice International and one of the most successful entrepreneurs ever. At the time of his death in 1993, his personal fortune was estimated in excess of $400 million and his vast commercial empire spanned four continents. Despite the notoriety surrounding Lewis’s financial coups, little has been written about the life of this remarkable man. Based on Lewis’s unfinished autobiography, as well as scores of interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, the book cuts through the myth and media hype to reveal the man behind the legend. What emerges is a vivid portrait of a proud, fiercely determined individual with a razor-sharp tongue — and an intellect to match — who would settle for nothing less than excellence from himself and others.” Buy it here

2.The Spook Who Sat By The Door

Sam Greenlee crossed the Beta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 1950

“An explosive, award-winning novel in the black literary tradition, “The Spook Who Sat By The Door” is both a satire of the civil rights problems in the United States in the late 1960s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue of black militancy.

Dan Freeman, the “spook who sat by the door,” is enlisted in the CIA’s elitist espionage program. Upon mastering agency tactics, however, he drops out to train young Chicago blacks as “Freedom Fighters.” As a story of one man’s reaction to ruling-class hypocrisy, the book is autobiographical and personal. As a tale of a man’s reaction to oppression, it is universal. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Buy it here

3. Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond

Marc Lamont Hill crossed the Abington-Ambler (PA) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 2011

“In Nobody, scholar and journalist Marc Lamont Hill presents a powerful and thought-provoking analysis of race and class by examining a growing crisis in America: the existence of a group of citizens who are made vulnerable, exploitable and disposable through the machinery of unregulated capitalism, public policy, and social practice. These are the people considered “Nobody” in contemporary America. Through on-the-ground reporting and careful research, Hill shows how this Nobody class has emerged over time and how forces in America have worked to preserve and exploit it in ways that are both humiliating and harmful.

To make his case, Hill carefully reconsiders the details of tragic events like the deaths of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, and Freddie Gray, and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He delves deeply into a host of alarming trends including mass incarceration, overly aggressive policing, broken court systems, shrinking job markets, and the privatization of public resources, showing time and time again the ways the current system is designed to worsen the plight of the vulnerable.” Buy it here

4. Days of Grace: A Memoir

Arthur Ashe crossed the Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 1963

“An introspective and poignant book that is well-worth reading. With the help of Langston Hughes’s biographer, Ashe has written a very absorbing account of his life. He tells of his mother’s death when he was six years old and the strong influence of his loving but demanding father that stood him in good stead when he entered the all-white world of tennis in the 1960s. He recounts his athletic career and the difficulties he experienced on the court with players such as John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. But the major portion of the book focuses on the 1980s, during which time he had two heart operations and contracted the AIDS virus via a blood transfusion. Although not a homosexual, Ashe became a sympathetic activist for the gay community. He was very vocal in his last years, speaking out against prejudice towards AIDS victims, racism, apartheid, and U.S. policy towards Haitians wishing to enter this country. This is the inspiring story of a premier athlete and a fine human being who cared passionately about his profession, his family, and the causes he embraced.”
– Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD

Buy it here

5. Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Winner

Bill Russell crossed the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 1955

“He has been hailed as the greatest team player of the twentieth century. In Russell Rules, the star center of the Boston Celtics and five-time NBA Most Valuable Player reveals the eleven essential steps to attaining success in your professional and personal lives.”

Buy it here

6. And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

Ralph David Abernathy crossed the Beta Zeta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 1948

“Originally published in 1989, this beautifully written autobiography of the Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy—Martin Luther King Jr.’s partner and eventual successor—not only tells his own story but also expounds on the leaders he knew intimately, including King, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Lyndon Johnson, among others. Revealing the planning that went into major protests and the negotiations that brought them to a close, Abernathy chronicles a movement, recalling the bitter defeats they faced, the misery and deaths they suffered. Amidst these struggles, though, he celebrates the victories that integrated communities, gave economic and political power to the disenfranchised, and brought hope to people who had not dreamed of it. Throughout, Abernathy’s close relationship with King is central to the story—and to the civil rights movement. In 1956, when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, it was Abernathy who enlisted King to join the protest. Together, they led the landmark bus boycott for 381 days, during which Abernathy’s house was bombed and his church dynamited. From there, the two helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and they were jailed together more than 40 times. Their protests and marches took them all over the South—Selma, Albany, Birmingham—and to Washington and Chicago as well. An unsung hero of his era, Abernathy’s inspiring memoir ultimately shows how their victories, and even their setbacks, led to social and legislative changes across the entire country.” Buy it here

7. Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace

Dr. Edward J. Perkins crossed the Alexandria-Fairfax Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 1978

“Apartheid South Africa was on fire around me.”

So begins the memoir of Career Foreign Service Officer Edward J. Perkins, the first black United States ambassador to South Africa. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan gave him the unparalleled assignment: dismantle apartheid without violence.

As he fulfilled that assignment, Perkins was scourged by the American press, despised by the Afrikaner government, hissed at by white South African citizens, and initially boycotted by black South African revolutionaries, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His advice to President-elect George H. W. Bush helped modify American policy and hasten the release of Nelson Mandela and others from prison.

Perkins’s up-by-your-bootstraps life took him from a cotton farm in segregated Louisiana to the white elite Foreign Service, where he became the first black officer to ascend to the top position of director general.

Buy it here

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Activism

How Kappa Alpha Psi Helped Stop Richard Spencer’s White Nationalist Group From Speaking at Michigan State

A SPLC listed white nationalist group by the name of The National Policy Institute requested to reserve space for a speaker at Michigan State University and the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi were not having it.

On Wednesday, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement saying The National Policy Institute wants to have a speaker on campus, and that MSU was “reviewing the request closely in light of the deplorable violence in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend.

While the statement didn’t say who the group wanted to have speak, the Lansing State Journal notes that Richard Spencer, the high-profile white supremacist who has advocated for a white homeland for a “dispossessed white race” and called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture, is president and director of the The National Policy Institute.

The brothers of the Northern Province and specifically the Delta Pi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi issued a letter to the Michigan State University President urging her to deny The National Policy Institute’s request.

“We urge you in the strongest terms to DENY the request for the white nationalist group to speak on our beloved campus. We recognize that Michigan State University is a public institution and that “free speech” is a right of all Americans. However, after the most recent incidents at the University of Virginia, the saftey of our students, faculty and staff are far more important. We also must realize that “free speech” must be responsible. Spreading a message of hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism is not healthy for the campus of Michigan State University, nor our country, nor our world.”

They followed by stating that the Kappas would be there in numbers to support the university president’s denial of the request.

“We are proud to be holding our annual leadership conference September 15-16, 2017 at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development on your campus. We will have over 200 Kappa Men from Michigan, N.W. Ohio and Western NY visiting the campus on that weekend. Please know that the more than 5,000 members of the Northern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. are ready to stand with you and support you in denying this request.”

Other groups around campus and the community also issued their concern and this was part of a huge local outcry.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the university said it denied the request.

“This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend,” the statement said. “While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community.”

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend these Kappas on standing up and speaking out. We believe that this letter can be used as an example for all D9 undergrad and graduate chapters when concerned about white supremacist at their schools or in their communities.

Read the full letter below:

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Kappas

This Nupe Turned A Kappa Pledge Song Into An Acoustic Blues Ballad

Bust out the guitar, because its time for some Kappa blues!

Singer, songwriter and musician, Aaron Marcus Payne, posted the following rendition of the song “Standing Tall” to his official YouTube page to celebrate Kappa Alpha Psi’s Founders’ Day.

Did you like his song? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Activism

Read the Official Letter Kappa Alpha Psi Just Sent to the NFL Regarding Colin Kaepernick

The Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. published a letter that he wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently supporting his fraternity brother Colin Kaepernick on behalf of the fraternity.

Read the full letter below.

Click here to read our article #NPHCforKaepernick: 5 Reasons Black Greeks Should Admire Colin Kaepernick which has been shared over 37,000 times.

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