80 Years And Counting
Alamo City Ques at 80: Our Story
Written By: Jeremy Neal & Scott L. Earle, Sr.
November 1, 2020, will mark 80 years of service to the Alamo City by Psi Alpha Chapter. In 1940, eight professional men from varied careers ranging from four educators, a dentist, a civil servant, a physician, and a businessman who had become members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated during their college years, decided that the time was right to form a Graduate Chapter here in the City of San Antonio. They were as young as 24 years of age to 49 years of age. They all had attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) due to segregation in the United States at that time in history. Some were raised in the city, some from the state of Texas, one from Georgia, and one from Virginia. After compiling all of the necessary information and paperwork and complying with the National Body’s Guidelines, the Local Chapter was chartered by the Supreme Council of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated on November 1, 1940, and given the name Psi Alpha. The Charter members were: Brothers Dr. W. V. Hurd DDS, S. D. Kane, Dr. M. L. Preacher, Joseph Paul Chretien, Ernest M. Foxx, Valmo Charles Bellinger, Dr. Richard Kidd, and G. P. Inge, Jr. Brother S.D. Kane was our first Basileus (president).
These men were influential in the community and were known more for just bringing Omega Psi Phi to the Alamo City. All eight men did a great deal in the City but three had a substantial impact. Brother Dr. Hurd, a WWI veteran, was much respected in his field and at the time as the only individual to serve as President of the Gulf State Dental Association of Texas twice, once in the 1940s and again in the late 1950s. He served as the past president of the Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association, and a former board member of the National Dentist Association. He also, chaired and was a member of various boards at the National Dentist Association.
Brother G.P. Inge, Jr., a WWI veteran, was a believer in the philosophy of progressive education and served as principal of Phillis Wheatley High School from 1941 to 1963. During the 22 years as the leader of one of the largest segregated schools in the state, he graduated record numbers of students, and their sports teams dominated the states segregated schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League, and they all knew they could compete with predominantly Anglo institutions. Brother Inge Jr. instituted the “No Pass No Play” rule for athletes during his tenure at the school before it was passed at the state level.
Brother Valmo Charles Bellinger was a prominent businessman and political party boss who also was the editor of the San Antonio Register. Founded by Valmo, the paper began printing in 1931, running without interruption for 47 years. Though its initial goal was preserving the political influence of Bellinger’s father, the paper later focused on local, state, and national news of specific concern to San Antonio’s African-American community. Valmo hired his future wife Josephine who assisted him in making the newspaper a success. Valmo donated an archive of the San Antonio Register to the University of Texas at San Antonio’s John Peace Library in 1979. The archive consisted of 22,000 issues and offered an almost complete run of issues from 1945 to 1978. If you ever have a chance to look over these archives, the Psi Alpha History coupled with the Black History of South Texas is remarkable. There are virtually no complete collections of black newspapers in the southwest and only two or three in the entire United States. Many of the articles written were published in Jet and Ebony magazines along with major newspapers reprinting the stories originating in the Register.
Currently, Psi Alpha Chapter has a total of 170 members. Psi Alpha Chapter’s Basileus, Brother Jimmie E. McMillion, has held this role for the past three years. “The Psi Alpha Chapter has been a pillar in the San Antonio community for 80 years. The Omega Men of Psi Alpha in San Antonio have been leaders in various occupations such as business, engineering, education, law, and medicine for many years,” McMillon stated. Our Psi Alpha Chapter historical note to mention is that in the late 1960s, Bro. Warren Eusan, WWII Army Air Corp and Tuskegee Airman Veteran, Theta Chapter ’39, was the driving force that brought the IHQ 47th Conclave to San Antonio which was the key focal point to break down discrimination in the San Antonio Area, becoming the first southern city to fully integrate. In the past years, the Psi Alpha Chapter has brought back a lot of IHQ recognition:
Brother Greg Thompson (Chairman of the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce): International Omega Man of the Year in the early 2000s
Brother Brandon Logan (Former President of the Rotary Club of San Antonio): IHQ Citizen of the Year in 2015
Brother Lionel Lyde: IHQ Colonel Charles Young Award Winner in 2017
Ms. Breanna Toney (Represented by Psi Alpha): Winner of the IHQ International Essay Contest in 2016
The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated has 10 International Mandated Programs: Achievement Week, Scholarship, Social Action, Talent Hunt Program, Memorial Service, Reclamation and Retention, College Endowment Fund, Health Initiatives, Voter Registration Education & Mobilization, and NAACP. In the Omega Year, which runs from November-October; several of these programs have been key highlights in Psi Alpha Chapter for the 2019-2020 year.
Scholarship: The Psi Alpha Scholarship Foundation awarded a total of $32,300 in scholarships and grants. A total of 20 seniors in the San Antonio Area were awarded scholarships totaling $30,000.
Talent Hunt Program: Psi Alpha Chapter awarded $1500 in scholarships as Ms. Zora Dickson, a junior and Bexar County Home School Student with a 4.0 GPA, walked away with winning honors.
Reclamation and Retention: Psi Alpha Chapter was awarded the Mighty 9th District Reclamation Large Graduate Chapter of the Year.
Fatherhood Initiative: Psi Alpha Chapter was announced as the winner of the best Fatherhood Initiative in the Mighty 9th District. For this mention, President Dr. David Marion awarded the chapter a $5000 award.
These programs were led by our Vice President, Brother George Mayers, who will transition into the role of President on November 5th as Brother McMillion’s award-winning 3-year term is up.
Psi Alpha Chapter will celebrate their 80th year serving the city on Sunday, November 1st. The day will begin with Brothers visiting the gravesites of the Charter Members who are laid to the rest in the city from 12 PM – 3 PM. The effort will be split into teams of 3 to maintain social distancing. From 5 PM – 7 PM, a Virtual Celebration over Zoom will be held where Brothers will be able to have a meal and socialize as we go through the program. During the program, Brothers from the 40s to the present will discuss the Charter members’ influence on them and any experiences they may have had with the Charter line.
Psi Alpha Chapter recently celebrated our beloved Godfather, Brother Earl Campbell, on October 25th with a drive-by celebration where over 45 vehicles lined up beeping our horns and watching him smile and wave to us as he celebrated 95 years of life. Brother Campbell, a 1944 initiate of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter at Tillotson College which is now Huston-Tillotson University, also celebrated 76 years of serving Omega on October 17, 2020. He was recently interviewed by the Psi Alpha Fatherhood Initiative Committee, where he provided a toolbox of knowledge in speaking on the importance of fatherhood. A point in the interview was when Brother Campbell was asked, “Out of the 4 F’s Faith, Family, Fellowship, and Friendship, which was most important and why? Brother Campbell replied, “Faith is the most important. All of us must have faith in God. He is our creator, having that faith means that fellowship, friendship, and loyalty will follow. In life, whatever we encounter, our faith is the most important thing that we have. Love your neighbor as yourself! (Mark 12:31) If you live by that creed alone…you will certainly live a great life and our lives will be so much better.”
Bexar County Couple Offers Counseling & Mentorship Program
Community-based counseling is happening at Ken-Lyn Consultants and Associates, a vision Dr. Kenneth Brown and Dr. Lynda Brown had years ago. The couple is now considered a family counselor and life coach duo.
Ken-Lyn has been serving Bexar County since 2017 and has grown almost immediately from serving 3-5 clients weekly to serving 50-70 globally. One of their greatest accomplishments is their continuous “5-Star” ratings. Amazingly, of the thousands of clients that have chosen to write a review, they all have shared the same sentiment.
Dr. Lynda Brown is a product of the East Side, where her father, Dr. Walter Duncan, served as one of the leading dentists to Black clients. Her mom, Dr. Joan Duncan, spent 40 years as an educator and professor. Dr. Kenneth Brown’s mom was an office manager, church leader, and pianist in Southern Maryland.
The Brown’s services have taken them to faraway places such as Australia, Dubai, Italy, Hawaii, and Alaska. They travel to perform workshops and officiate weddings all over the country. The Brown’s business partner, Tiana Hill, is an Air Force veteran like Dr. Kenneth Brown. A University of Texas at San Antonio graduate, Hill develops all website and software programming, mentors the youth, and is also a parent in the program. Ken-Lyn’s associates and partners are specialists in their fields, such as nurse practitioners, military human resources, special education professionals, attorneys, doctors, pharmacists, information technology specialists, movers, mechanics, realtors, credit recovery, insurance brokers, and many more.
Ken-Lyn’s vast array of services is “everything family.” Their youngest client is four years old, and their oldest is 86. They have assisted over 110 students to get into four-year universities, helping them earn over $5.2 million in scholarships. Their clientele is diverse, from local families simply trying to keep their child in school to West Coast entertainers, East Coast politicians, doctors, lawyers, police officers, active military and veterans. They also serve as educational advocates during 504/IEP meetings from the school conference room to the Texas Education Agency and the Office of Civil Rights as needed.
Ken-Lyn Consultants and Associates has been where undergraduate psychology students come to “cut their teeth” and learn how to run a practice and market their services. As of spring 2023, 80% of their undergraduate interns have come from UTSA. Interns serve in the tradition of “camp counselors” as they aid students within the Ken-Lyn mentorship program.
They say, “We monitor grades. We aid them with everything from hygiene, makeup application, grooming, and college prep to cleaning and organizing backpacks. We help our mentees to discover themselves, despite the possible odds and misunderstandings they may face daily.”
This spring, Ken-Lyn has a busy community schedule while serving clients daily:
- Their office has recently expanded, and on March 23 at 6:30 pm, they will host a brief “Business Blessing Ceremony.” Dr. Otis Mitchell, pastor of Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, will officiate.
- On Thursday, March 30, the six-week “12 Steps Toward Communicating Better” workshop will conclude at the Windmill Ice House at 2769 Nacogdoches Rd, featuring artist Elizabeth Holmes and the Ken-Lyn Communicators Band.
- Their mentorship program will host female and minority pilots at the Boerne Stage Field, 100 Boerne Stage Airfield, on Sunday, March 26 at 5 pm.
- Other mentorship guest speakers this semester will include professionals in tech fields, professors, and adults who have turned their lives around for themselves and their families.
- Every semester, students in their program will tour at least two colleges. This semester, they will visit Our Lady of the Lake University and Texas A&M University at College Station.
To learn more about Ken-Lyn’s services, visit (KenLynConsultants.com) or call 210-761-4345.
Celebrating 100 Years – Saleta Rodgers
On 26 February 1923, Saleta Wilson was born to Rev. Rufus and Odessa Wilson of San Antonio, TX. She was the second child of six siblings.
She attended pre-integration San Antonio Independent School District (schools: Cuney Elementary; Frederick Douglas Jr High and graduated from Phyllis Wheatly High School). Later she went to cosmetology school. Many San Antonians were grateful for her coiffeur skills.
A lot of her early years were spent at church, where the Wilson children learned Biblical teaching and developed a love of singing. Saleta was a member of Mt. Zion First Baptist, Friendship Baptist, and Mt. Pleasant Baptist churches. Her father organized Antioch Baptist Church in 1935; she was a charter member. He later organized Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in 1952, where she is a charter member and still attends today.
While serving in the military at Lackland AFB, Prince Rogers visited Antioch, where he met Saleta. In 1946 they united in matrimony. The union lasted until his death in 1989, almost 43 years. Upon completing his military service, the couple moved to Prince’s home, Mobile, Alabama, where two children were born, Kenneth and Jacqueline.
Saleta was an active part of the church community in Mobile. Along with her duties as wife/mother/sewing for herself and others, she united with Mt Sinai of Whistler, Alabama, and was active in their Sunday school, choir, and Mission Circle. The family returned to San Antonio after four years.
Following her parents teaching, “Don’t send them, Bring Them,” she made sure her children had a spiritual base for their lives. While working in the beauty shop, she accompanied her children at church and their various activities. Wednesday night Bible Study was a routine family engagement. At any baseball/football/basketball game, she could be found in the bleachers or somewhere in the area. This chaperoning continued with her grandchildren. She was an active PTA member. She was involved in home, neighborhood, church, and community and even worked the polls on election days.
Saleta is an excellent cook, but everyone’s favorite is her home-made dinner rolls. There are many fond memories of fabulous dinners with family and friends.
After retirement, Saleta worked as a substitute teacher for 14 years with SAISD.
She has opened her home for some who needed a place to live. Through sickness, pain, agony, headache, heartache, nursing, caring, and losses, Saleta has remained a devoted disciple of Christ. Through it, all of God’s business never suffered and was never cut short. As it gets late in her evening, her steps may be a little slower/shorter now, but she’s still about the Father’s business. She continues to believe “when praises go up, blessings come down.”
Black Life Texas
A Crowded Mayor’s Race
By Chris Dawkins
Feb. 17 was the deadline for candidates to file their intentions to run for an elected office. Election Day in San Antonio is Saturday, May 6, 2023.
Below are the City of San Antonio Mayor and City Council candidates. In a later magazine issue, we will include other candidates for school boards and other municipalities.
If you are a candidate in Bexar County and would like to be included in future issues of Black Life Texas, please submit a (75 word) description of your candidacy to; (CandiCandidate@BlackLifeTexas.com).
Here are the San Antonio municipal candidates:
Mayor (10) Candidates
Christopher Longoria, Ray Adam Basaldua, Diana Flores Uriegas, Ron Nirenberg*, Michael Idrogo, Armando Dominguez, Gary Allen, Christopher T. Schuchardt, Michael Samaiego
District 1 (10) Candidates
Sukh Kaur, Ernest Salinas, Jeremy Roberts, Lauro Bustamante, Mario Bravo*, Kaitlyn Folk, Roberto Rios Ortega, James Matthew Duerr, William T. Lamar-Boone
District 2 (10) Candidates
Carla Walker, Edward Earl Giles, Jalen McKee-Rodriguez*, James M. Guild, Denise Gutierez, Denise McVea, Wendell Carson, Patrick Jones, Rose Requeneq Hill, Michael John Good
District 3 (4) Candidates
Larry La Rose, Phyllis Viagran*, Jayden Munoz, Erin Gallegos Reid
District 4 (3) Candidates
Adrian Rocha Garcia*, Gregorio De La Paz
District 5 (3) Candidates
Teri Castillo*, Arturo Espinosa, Rudy Lopez
District 6 (2) Candidates
Irina Rudolph, Melissa Cabello Havrda*
District 7 (5) Candidates
Dan Rossiter, Marina Alderele Gavito, Jacob Chapa, Sandragrace Martinez, Andrew “AJ” Luck
District 8 (2) Candidates
Cessario Garcia, Manny Pelaez*
District 9 (5) Candidates
John Courage*, David Allan Lara, Jarrett Lipman, Dominque Lui, James Casey
District 10 (7) Candidates
Joel Scolis, Madison Gutierrez, Margaret Sherwood, Marc Whyte, Rick Otley, Robert Flores, Bryan R. Martin
* Indicates incumbent
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