Of the many people who have helped me on my journey, I am deeply grateful to my fraternity brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha in Selma, Montgomery, & Birmingham.
It was about 37 years ago when I first crossed the burning sands, where I was welcomed into the Alpha Kappa chapter, then based at American International College, in Springfield Massachusetts.
At the time, I was a second-year student at UMass Amherst and had to commute to Springfield to pledge. It was a fun experience and I was proud to be the third Alpha in my family after my father and uncle to become a member. The years following college I was largely inactive, having left behind the memories of brotherhood as something associated with college.
Over the years, my involvement was minimal at best. But I was always there at key times with my father, when together, we welcomed my younger brother, Haile Johnston, into the Mighty Psi chapter in the spring of 1993 when he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. My father and I laughed so hard that night it still brings tears to my eyes of the brotherhood we shared. To my cousin Lance, I’m sorry we missed your intake but you know we are proud of you.
In Montgomery and Birmingham, I was greeted with a type of special family brotherhood by Lee Jenkins, Father Manuel Williams, Walter Turner, Russ, Kennon, Marco, et al.
Getting through Montgomery and Birmingham was made easier because of the assistance these brothers provided. On my last day in Birmingham, I was feeling some anxiety because of the changing weather conditions which went from rain to cold to high wind advisories-it was good knowing I had back up from my fraternity brothers should something arise. Thank you all again.