How a Box of Donuts Changed My View on Hazing

How a Box of Donuts Changed My View on Hazing

June 11, 2012 By

Written by Tennessee State University Alumnus Dr. Jeff Obafemi Carr

Each and every time I bite into a warm Krispy Kreme donut, I’m reminded of an experience I had while joining a fraternity over 20 years ago.  It was the night I almost became a murderer.

It was a cool night in the Spring of 1987, and I was squarely in the middle of my “process” as an undergraduate pledge of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. I was pledging at the legendary “Bloody Beta Omicron” Chapter of Tennessee State University — a historically black university in Nashville. I had been through all the rites of legend and mystery for several weeks, and had become hardened—like forged steel—by the fire of what we called “pledging” back then, but what I am sure would be defined as hazing now. Never mind that half or more of what we’d been through was more a matter of practice than actual fraternity policy (that’s the whole debate on hazing after all, right?). My line brothers and I were determined to be unconquered as we trudged—willingly—across the Burning Sands—a reference to our crossing over into membership together.

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