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Eta Nu presents the Black History Month festival and exhibit

Pompani Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher and State Rep. Gwyn Clark Reed and Pompano Beach Pioneer Jimmy Jones Eta Nu Basileus and Antino Brhim

Pompani Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher and State Rep. Gwyn Clark Reed and Pompano Beach Pioneer Jimmy Jones Eta Nu Basileus and Antino Brhim

Eta Nu presents the Black History Month festival and exhibit

Since its inception in June of ’69, the Eta Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has faced, accepted and conquered many daunting, seemingly insurmountable obstacles as only men of Omega can.

The most recent example involved Eta Nu accepting the City of Pompano’s offer to partner with them and Broward Health Systems in creating an annual Black History program that would be relevant, permanent and impactful for the entire community.

Pompano Beach Commissioner Woody Poitier who was beaming with pride as he observed his history making on display. “This was excellent the men of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, especially the Eta Nu Chapter of Pompano did an out-standing job, as a matter of fact because of the relevancy and the impressive amount material the Mayor has extended the contract for another three years.”

Under the astute visionary leadership of Brother Willie Jones, Basileus Antonio Brihm, Social Action Chair Brother Melvin Davis, Brother Harry Harrell and many others, including Mayor Lamar Fisher and staff and the Pompano city commissioners, the first of what is expected to be an annual event commencing the celebration of February Black History Month was held Feb. 7-9 at the E. Pat Larkin Community Center in Pompano.

Pompano Beach Mayor, Lamar Fisher and State Representative Gwyn Clarke-Reed were admiring the exhibit when they noticed a familiar face in the TRAILBLAZERS section; they reminisced on the career of Commissioner Woody Poitier who was the first Black Lieu-tenant of the Pompano Beach Firefighters. Mayor Fisher was quoted as stating, “This pro-gram should be extended to at least a week and not just three days.”

The highlight of the three-day festival was the Black History Exhibit featuring numerous categories: education, music, sports, history, science, Black History t-shirts, rare artifacts and so much more. You would have been simply amazed by the Michael Jordan collector’s plates and the jazz exhibits owned by Harry Harrell, the Black Santa Claus display and the myriad of other exhibits, most of which are owned by Brother Melvin Davis, a son of Pompano and a serious collector of African/American Art and memorabilia.

Co-chair brother Harry Harrell said, ‘The Omega men of Eta Nu chapter shocked the city of Pompano!!This had never been done in the city of Pompano Beach and I’m so proud that we were able to make it happen. I heard nothing but positive feedback and how bad it was needed in the community. I’m extremely excited about the future of this project and I know it can only get better. Brother Davis’ historical passion manifested itself further as he distributed questionnaires to all youth visiting the exhibit, challenging each to appreciate, understand and learn the history and social and moral contributions of African-Americans in the greatest country on earth – America.

Mel who has been collecting Black artifacts for a long time was compelled to say, “They said it couldn’t be done! But we did it!”

The marvelous exhibit presented the citizens of Pompano and Broward a nostalgic prism into a living, palpable legacy of a proud people determined to create a lasting social and moral impact from a historical perspective. A permanent edifice housing these extremely valuable artifacts for the public’s consumption, thus eliminating storage need and cost is a dream deferred but realistic and we know the benefactor(s) is/are out there.

Terra Jackson, accompanied by her son Zion, asked if this the first time we had done this and after explaining that the chapter had done many exhibits in the past at schools and other locations, it was noted that it was indeed the first time at this venue, she stated enthusiastically, “This is absolutely amazing.”

Other event highlights included live entertainment featuring saxophonist Randy Corinthian, Omega 3 DJs, several vendors and a vintage car show.

Several public officials, past and present, attended the event including former Commissioner Sylvia Poitier, Dania Commissioner Albert Jones, Rep. Hazelle Rogers, State Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed and Sheriff Scott Israel.

“Pompano is really growing and it is because of joint events like this that make it possible.                   The city is working on Ms. Ely’s house to make it a museum so students and others can walk through and see and touch some more of Pompano’s rich cultural history”, commented Commissioner Woody Poitier.

The festival will be bigger and better next year so if you somehow missed your opportunity this time, 2015 will not disappoint.


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