It is safe to say that this might be the best week of Phil Walker’s 23-year-old life.
On Sunday, he graduated from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s in biology.
On Monday, he married his college sweetheart, Annie Hudson, a 2014 Spelman College graduate.
By Thursday a video of his Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity brothers doing a traditional “hop” at the wedding had gone viral making the couple a trending topic on social media.
“In terms of it going viral, I'm completely surprised. But I'm excited,” Walker said. “I'm fortunate that we were able to capture such a special moment. I'm appreciative of all the positivity and encouragement that my wife and I have received, and I'm grateful for being a part of such an amazing brotherhood that loves us both.”
The video is only 32 seconds.
But that half minute captures a lifetime of black traditions, fraternal spirit, HBCU pride and black celebration.
“Many of our hops and steps have roots in African tribal dance, but we incorporate modern hip hop culture in many ways. In the video we're doing ‘Wipe Me Down,’ which was created by one of my prophytes, Ed Alexander, in 2007,” Walker said. “It's been a custom for this hop to be done at Alpha Rho weddings as a reminder of the ceremonial way to welcome the bride to the family and show the bride’s family and friends that the brotherhood has her back.”
Walker and Hudson have had each other’s back for five years. The couple met as students at Ursinus College outside of Philadelphia. Together they transferred to Morehouse and Spelman in the fall of 2012.
In the fall of 2013, Walker pledged into the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at Morehouse. On Nov. 15, 2013, during his probate show, where he “publicly” joins the fraternal family, he decided to also expand his own family.
As part of that probate show, with his line brother’s behind him, he proposed to Annie Hudson.
She said yes.
Hudson graduated from Spelman in 2014 and moved to China to get a master of laws degree from Xiamen University. She has spent the last year writing her master’s thesis, working full time as an international export coordinator for a Japanese ocean liner company, and planning a wedding.
Walker said most of the planning was done by his new wife who served as her own “wedding planner.”
At most weddings that involve black Greeks, the couple -- particularly the wife -- is serenaded by members of the husband's fraternity. That was the case at the Hudson-Walker wedding. The hop was an added bonus.
"We weren't going all out," Walker said. "And we weren't even on point in the video, we were just having fun in the moment."
“Once the video hit 1,000 views, I thought ‘aww, this is pretty cool,” Annie Hudson said. “Then we were at 7,000; 9,000; 15,000. I had no idea it would spread like this, but it's amazing to know that so many people are able to share such a pivotal moment in our lives. It’s also nice to think that people watch the video and feel happy or inspired or proud.”
Next month the couple will head to Dayton, Ohio, where Walker will enroll in Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine to study neuroscience as an M.D., Ph.D. candidate on a full scholarship
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