On being an Iota man: What pledging was like back in the day

Captain America is not the only superhero who wields a mighty shield. In fact there’s an army of men out there who stand for and behind the shield of Iota Phi Theta. As you can probably guess from the name, it’s a Greek organization. Iota Phi Theta is a primarily African-American fraternity and though it’s pretty young as far as fraternities and sororities go, it’s already got a lot of history behind it.

Iota Phi Theta came into being back in 1963. It’s a child of the civil rights movement. Think about what’s happening now in our country, on its streets and college campuses and you can imagine that the brothers have had no trouble remaining relevant. Like most Greek organizations there are the fancy names. The fraternity is guided by a Grand Council which is led by the Grand Polaris, but this group knows how to keep it real.

From its very beginning the fraternity has been on the right side of history, leading protests against segregated facilities in Baltimore where it was founded by a dozen determined men. Since then the fraternity has grown from that one chapter to more than 250. Along the way, it has partnered with other great institutions such as the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Its motto is “Building a tradition, not resting upon one,” and they mean what they say.

All fraternities and sororities are proud of the history and heritage of each organization and rightly so. But, the majority of all the men who ever pledged Iota Phi Theta are still around and still giving back. That makes for a very special connection. Take a look at some of the symbols and brothers who keep this great thing going with our gallery.

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