If you see the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan stepping out in purple and gold, there’s a reason.
Over the weekend, the 85-year-old religious leader became an honorary member of Omega Psi Phi after initially pledging in the early 50s, but not being allowed to be initiated.
In a tweet that included photos with his new fraternity brothers, Farrakhan thanked the Omegas for the honor of joining the Atlanta-based organization.
Thank you to my brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. for presenting me with an Honorary Membership. As long as we live, let’s strive for those fundamental principles that make an Omega man a man after God. pic.twitter.com/Y5kHTFKaCV
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) February 3, 2019
In 1951, Min. Farrakhan attended Winston-Salem Teachers College, which is where he came in contact with the Omegas and began his pledge process.
“Boy they beat the hell out of me,” Min. Farrakhan told a group of Omegas in 2011 in a speech after he was presented with a lifetime achievement award, according to Watch the Yard, a website targeted at Black Greek-lettered organizations. “I wanted to be an Omega so bad, the whipping didn’t matter.”
After a week of pledging, someone from one of the graduate chapters reportedly spoke a negative word about him, causing him to be blackballed from the organization, according to the article.
“Because I was then, a smaller version of what I am now,” Farrakhan said in the article, referring to the controversy surrounding him. “A lot of people are not comfortable with me. A lot of people will talk to me behind the door, but don’t want to be seen with me in the public because there are forces in this country and in this world that I have to speak truth against, even if it costs me my life and friendship.”
Farrakhan now joins other famous Omega men, including Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month, Michael Jordan, Langston Hughes, Steve Harvey, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal as a member of the 107-year-old organization founded in 1911 at Howard University.