On April 9th, 1949, the Brooklyn-Long Island Alumni chapter was chartered as the Brooklyn Alumni Chapter, with the vision to spread the concepts and ideas of Kappa Alpha Psi in the Brooklyn community. The chapter's original title, The Brooklyn Alumni chapter, was later changed in 1960 to the Brooklyn-Long Island Alumni chapter because a number of brothers from Brooklyn moved to Long Island and brothers from Long Island joined the chapter. Brother Enos S. Andrews was the Province Polemarch who installed the chapter.
There were 15 charter members: Lewis S. Flagg, III - Polemarch; Leroy A. Payne - Vice Polemarch; Clifton E. Gross - Keeper of Records; Frank C. Johnson - Keeper of the Exchequer and Claude B. Cave - Historian. The other charter members were: Elliott J. Barnett, Williams Brooks, Wesley H. Carrion, William M. Chisholm, R. Risley Dent, Jr., Charles R. Joseph, Rudolph Scott, Frizzell J. Smith, Austin Sobers & LaVerte T. Warren.
Elliott J. Barnett was a Beta Chapter initiate. Barney as he was known by many worked as a probation officer in the NYC system and was a fiery but good-hearted Kappa. He and his wife opened up their home to the brothers and enjoyed entertaining them.
William Brooks was an educator and a noted swimming instructor at a local Brooklyn YMCA. He had a love for traveling, especially abroad.
Dr. Claude B. Cave was a medical doctor with his practice in Brooklyn. He was a warm and caring brother who opened his summer home in Massapequa up to the brothers for their June meeting and they had a good time swimming and lounging.
Wesley H. Carrion was a probation officer in NYS. He has two daughters and a son. He served B-LI as polemarch during his active years. Brother Carrion recently entered the chapter invisible on September 30, 2013.
William M. Chisholm, Esq. was one of the most active Kappas in the greater NY area in the 50's. Brother Chisholm had been active in the Boy Scouts as a young man (Eagle Scout to be exact) and he continued his work with them as an adult. He was first employed by the NYC Fire Dept. and went to law school in his spare time. After obtaining his law degree, he and Brothers Risley Dent & Thaddus Owens founded a law firm in Brooklyn. After serving as Polemarch of Brooklyn Alumni, he later served as Province Polemarch of the Northeastern Province. He continued to distinguish himself in Kappa by serving on the Grand Board of Directors and as Sr. Grand Vice Polemarch.. He made an attempt to become Grand Polemarch but it was not to be. He composed the words to the Toast Song used at the Oath of Rededication. He had many more accomplishments including his involvement in Comos, the NAACP and legal counsel for the Fireman's Union.
R. Risley Dent, Jr., Esq. began his career as a court officer and went to law school at night. He was a Beta Chapter initiate and didn't let anyone forget it. He was very active in Brooklyn politics and became the 1st Black elected to the NYS Senate from Brooklyn, but he passed away before he could take office. At the same time, he was being looked at by the Democratic Party to run for US Congress. The seat eventually went to Shirley Chisholm. There is a NYC Housing unit named after Brother Dent. It is located on the corner of Fulton and Sumner in Brooklyn.
Lewis S. Flagg, III was also an attorney who grew up in Brooklyn. He was a Kappa legacy being the son of Judge Lewis Flagg II. Brother Flagg III was very active in the National Guard and eventually became the Commanding Officers of one of the Brooklyn Armories
Clifton E. Gross was an Omicron initiate while attending school at St. John's University when it was still in Brooklyn. He was an educator with the Board of Education. He was a loyal member of B-LI all of his life and served the chapter in many capacities. He organized trips to football games at West Point and any time the Cleveland Browns were in town so the brothers could see the great Jim Brown play. He served the Northeastern Province as Keeper of Records and Exchequer and for his long service to the fraternity, he was awarded the Northeastern Province's highest award - the James M. Kidd distinguished service award. Brother Gross had many loves - two of which where his children and the game of Bridge (not to mention tonk and Pinochle). One of his sons, Geoffrey, followed him into Kappa and was a member in B-LI
Dr. Frank C. Johnson affectionately known to some as "Little Black". He worked as a longshoreman in his younger years. He was initiated into Kappa Chapter as an undergraduate. He was well liked by all that met him and considered one of the backbones of the chapter. While serving in WWII, he threw one of the biggest Kappa parties ever in Paris, France for all the Kappas in service. He had a medical practice in Brooklyn and was known for his generosity. He would encourage younger brothers to attend chapter meetings and would pay their dues if they fell short. He would also help those who fell short with all of their tuition money and wanted to continue their education.
Dr. Charles R. Joseph was a very quiet man. His medical practice was in Brooklyn and he could be counted on when the brothers needed him
Dr. Leroy A. Payne may have been better known for his joke telling than also being a founder of New York Alumni. He and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Lewis had their medical practices in Brooklyn. Dr. Payne was a fast talking, fun loving man who had Kappa at heart al the time. He attended everything that the chapter sponsored and was very liberal in helping others. Hew as also a stabilizing influence - he could say a few words and bring calm back to a tense situation. Brother Payne's wife has a history in Kappa herself. Dr. Lewis-Payne was the 1st national president of the Kappa Silhouettes.
Rudolph Scott was an accomplished soloist. he sang in churches all over the city and traveled extensively with his career. Brothers Scott, Payne and Frissell Smith had all been founders of New York Alumni before their involvement in Brooklyn Alumni.
Frizzell J. Smith was a long time employee of RCA. He was thought to be a bachelor and he was a very dapper dresser. He had a love of animals.
Austin "Sonny" Sobers was affectionately known as the "Dean of Discipline" at JHS 35 in Brooklyn. He was an initiate of Xi Chapter and went into the field of education after graduation from Howard. He served the chapter as polemarch and had a great sense of humor. He finished his career in education as an administrator at the Board of Education headquarters in Brooklyn.
Dr. LaVerte T. Warren was our chapter's George Edmonds. Not much was known of him after the chartering.
These 15 men were very interested in getting Kappa's name out in the Brooklyn community after the chapter was founded. The Kappa name was big in Harlem and its activities at the Harlem Y but in Brooklyn, at the time, the name that seemed to be known best was Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. They encouraged younger brothers to come join the chapter and gave them significant roles to play the minute they joined.
The chapter, having been chartered only a few years, hosted its first province council in 1954. It was held at the Sumner Avenue Armory.
The chapter wanted some involvement with an undergraduate chapter. So it sought out a school that would be interested in allowing a Black Greek undergraduate chapter on it's campus. Long Island University - Brooklyn campus was very interested in having this kind of involvement. The first Kappas made at Delta Mu were Preston L. Lambert, John Yancy, Nick Ramos, Harry Eli, Randolph Grannum and Hamilton N. Jenkins. They were shepherded by Thomas "Beanie" Watkins and Clifford Jenkins and assisted by members of Omicron and New York Alumni.
The chapter's early community involvement came in the form of Guide Right at JHS 35 with the leadership of Brother Sobers. The chapter branched out and contributed to athletic programs and other events in the community. It was also during this ear that the chapter implemented our annual scholarship dance after years of participating with NYA at its affairs at the Savoy Ballroom and the Teresa Hotel. As most of you know, this event is still held and has become a much anticipated social affair for our community. This affair has raised thousands of dollars for our youth.
In the early sixties, Jim Miller and Preston Lambert help start another B-LI tradition - the Picnic. The sixties and seventies saw our chapter immerse itself into local politics for equality and at the same time develop and extraordinary Guide Right and Kappa League Program. Under the leadership of Donald Fields and Leroy Talford, our chapter won province-wide recognition for its work in Kappa League. After serving for many years as chairman of NEP Guide Right Committee, Brother Fields was recognized by the NEP with the James M. Kidd Award for Distinguished Service. Also, during this time period, two of the stalwart chapter members played important roles on the Grand Chapter level. Donell H. Edgerton III - "Flat Top" was elected to the position of Grand Chapter Nominating Committee Chairman and served in that position for 19 years and Brother William S. "Bill" Eaddy was Grand Chapter Recorder for many years. 1970 saw the chapter host it's second Province Council
In the eighties and nineties, the chapter expanded its involvement with undergraduate chapters by helping organize the Mu Pi Chapter rand chartering Xi Zeta and Xi Omicron Chapters. also, becoming the advisors for Mu Omicron Chapter. On the social action front, B-LI began implementing other projects such as :
Canned Food and Clothing Drives in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island Areas;
Distributed Thanksgiving Baskets and Meals;
Hosted Walk / Run-a-thons
Implemented SAT workshops.
In addition the chapter hosts it's annual Alumni Greek Step Show to raise money for the College Fund (formerly known as UNCF) and the Hale House, not to mention that through this event they tried to heighten the community's awareness of Greek organization. During this time the chapter hosted the 62nd NEP Council and the 1993 CRWLC. There are so many things that the chapter did then and does now to serve the community and we hold fast to the path that was laid before us to continue towards achievement in every human endeavor.