Again FLT to Bro. Ainslie for allowing me the opportunity to ultimately get the word out about Oddfellowship as a whole! I joined the Grand United Order of Oddfellows for a multitude of reasons. I did not join because of family ties nor did I join for notoriety as the Order almost “secreted itself to death” as GM Green told me once. My mind was made up before I ever met or spoke to any guoof brothers. I did the knowledge on their attributes concerning my culture ! They’re contributions are innumerable…..
I don’t say that to thumb my nose at anyone because I love what the Order stands for on both sides of the coin IOOF/GUOOF. What I’m talking about is the many many illustrious individuals that have carried the torch before I took it in my hands…..From the building of schools for the young, black, and disenfranchised, to blazing trails that wouldn’t be there had it not been for these men and women who were proud members of the GUOOF!
I’ll give a few examples; I emplore you all to take a closer look at the story of our formation in 1843 when Patrick H. Reason met with the illustrious Peter Ogden. As opposed to continuing to petition for acceptance in the Independent Order, Ogden instead gave us another option, the Grand United Order ……and today we have a legacy that might not have been possible had we been accepted! Our unique history might have been swallowed by the much larger Order of Oddfellows you dig? Patrick Henry Reason is not your average joe either! He is known as one of the earliest African-American engravers and the artist behind our beautiful membership certificates on display all over the world. A notable piece many are familiar with is a kneeling negro man with shackles saying “am I not a man and a brother? ” Yep that one….Besides that he was an avid abolitionist along with the likes of Henry Bibb and Joseph Bustill. They too were oddfellows !
Madame C.J. Walker was a proud member of the Household of Ruth…..Ever heard of Edward H. Morris? Passed the bar in Illinois in 1879 after he had been born a slave in Kentucky only 20 years prior !!!! What about Moses Dickson and the Knights of Tabor, the Order of Twelve? Georgia Rooks Dwelle was one of the first African American female physicians and also a proud member……
In SC alone we have many more individuals who not only survived the harshest of times but thrived ! Prince Rivers, one of the founding fathers of Aiken County, South Carolina was one of the first men freed by Lincoln before he emancipated the slaves !
Needless to say I didn’t feel like I chose one order over another. (Especially since I’m still joining the IOOF) I truly feel like the GUOOF chose me to carry on their legacy and maybe even educate some people in the process……
Thanks for looking guys !!!!
I leave as I came with Friendship Love and Truth…..
Florence lodge 2212