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Did you know that America’s first Black billion dollar businessman was a Nupe?

It is true! Reginald F. Lewis (December 7, 1942 – January 19, 1993) was a business man who was the richest African-American man in the 1980s.

Lewis was born in Baltimore into a middle-class family in 1942. His father was a postal worker and his mother a teacher. From an early age, Lewis respected the hustle, he once stated that he began selling newspapers when he was 9 years old, earning about $20 a week and saving $18.

He graduated with a degree in economics in 1965 from Virginia State University before entering Harvard Law School which he finished in 1968. He then joined the New York law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkin Wharton & Garrison and just a few years later, opened his own law firm, Lewis & Clarkson, which specialized in venture capital projects.

“Mr. Lewis’s business career was highlighted by two major deals,” an article written in The New York Times in 1993 by Kappa Alpha Psi’s Journal editor, Jonathan Hicks, states. “The first, in 1983, involved the purchase of the McCall Pattern Company. With $1 million he had saved from his dealings as a corporate lawyer, he led a $23 million buyout of the small dress-pattern maker. Four years later, after restoring the ailing company to financial health, Mr. Lewis sold McCall to the John Crowther Group of Britain for $63 million in cash, which brought him a personal profit of $50 million.”

In 1992, his $3 million donation to the Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1968, made him the school’s largest individual donor ever up until that point.

Mr. Lewis was a big supporter of the Black community and donated large amounts to a various institutions, from homeless shelters to neighborhood churches. One thing that made him stand out was that he did not believe that he should be seen as an important figure because of his race.

“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of African-Americans,” Mr. Lewis said in an interview shortly after the acquisition of Beatrice. “And I’m delighted that people feel this accomplishment adds to that list. But to dwell on race — to see that as something that becomes part of my persona — is a mistake, and I do everything I can to discourage it.”

As a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Lewis was active with the New York Alumni Chapter which is located in Harlem. If you ever have a chance to visit their chapter’s posh historic three story brownstone located in the Sugar Hill area of Harlem, the first thing you will see when you open the door is a large memorial to Lewis.

Lewis died of a brain cancer in 1993.

In 1992, Forbes listed Lewis among the 400 richest Americans, with a net worth estimated at $400 million. He also was the first African American to build a billion dollar company, Beatrice Foods, and he was one of the smoothest Nupes to date.

Check out this short documentary on him and then click on the arrows below to see pictures of how smooth this Nupe was.


reginald f. lewis why should white guys have all the fun

Click on the arrows below to see how smooth this Nupe was!

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Back In The Day

Check out These Vintage Photos of HBCU Women’s Sports Teams From the Early 1900s

Time for another blast from the past!

This time we have collected a list of HBCU women’s sports teams and athletic groups from the early 1900s.

Enjoy!

The women’s rifle team, Howard University, Washington DC, 1937.

Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

FAMU Students and instructors with tennis equipment. Tallahassee, Florida. 1915.

TILLOTSON COLLEGE: Women’s Basketball Team

Samuel Huston women’s basketball team.

Lifesaving practice at Howard University

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Colleges

Check out These Vintage Photos of HBCU Football Teams From the Early 1900s

HBCUs have a long and strong history of athletic programs. For all of you history lovers and football buffs out there we have compiled a list of photos from HBCU football teams from back in the day.

Enjoy!

Hampton’s football team in 1921.

Claflin’s football team in 1899

Howard’s Football Team in 1934.

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute. Addison Scurlock, photographer.

The Agricultural and Mechanical College of North Carolina’s Football Team in 1912

Hampton’s Football team.

Langston’s 1921 team.

Please let us know if we got any of the dates wrong.

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Alphas

Dick Gregory was a man of Alpha Phi Alpha.

On Saturday, Dick Gregory, a pioneering force of comedy in the 1960s who later became an iconic social and political activist died of heart failure at the age of 84.

“It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory, departed this earth tonight in Washington, D.C.,” his son Christian Gregory said via a statement from his father’s rep. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Before his fame, Gregory was a 1954 initiate of the Beta Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at Southern Illinois University.

In the chapter photo below you will see him in the back row, third from the left.

Upon learning of their brother’s passing, Alpha Phi Alpha’s international Facebook page posted their condolences to the family.

As we celebrate the legacy of Brother Dick Gregory let us reflect on the following quote as we continue his legacy as men of Alpha in pursuit of justice and equality.
‘One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people’

Gregory’s home chapter, the Beta Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at Southern Illinois University also took to Twitter to memorialize their chapter brother.

We ask that you keep Gregory’s family, friends, and fraternity brothers in your thoughts. We also ask that you share this and leave your condolences and memories of him as a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha and a member of the Black greek community so that others can see how much he meant to all of us.

“Not all great men are Alphas, but all Alphas are great men.”

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