THE REAL LIFE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE BROTHERS OF TDT
As a student in college at St. Augustine’s College (now University), I spent my sophomore year living in the Honor’s Ladies dormitory: Delany Hall. The building’s position in the center of campus allowed me a view of the main lawn from my front window. My desk was sitting right beneath the window, and while studying, I often looked out on the lawn. The focal point of the lawn was the “plots,” which were concrete blocks positioned in the grass. Each plot was painted with the symbols and colors of the corresponding fraternity or sorority. They were commemorative of past graduates in those organizations, but also served as gathering spots for current students who were members.
I had a great vantage point to watch things unfold on the plots. I was close enough that if the weather was warm, and I opened my window, I could even hear the conversations. I saw so many moments unfolding before me: step show practice, general goofing off, new members being welcomed onto the plots for the first time. I saw the fliers passed out on campus for the activities and community service projects they were participating in. All of this unfolded in front of me, while I took breaks from cramming my brain with World History and Geography.
I didn’t pledge, mainly because I was sort of a loner in college. I was super introspective; still am now. And I was still under the vestiges of my high school awkwardness. Still, it was pretty easy for me to see the importance of Greek culture to campus life. It wasn’t until after college that I saw the lifelong kinship shared by the members of these organizations, a discovery that made me somewhat regretful of my decision not to pledge.
In coming up with the TDT series, I thought of the young brothers I saw hanging out on the fraternity plots all those years ago, and wondered what kind of men they turned out to be; who they became after graduation. Many of them I’ve lost touch with, some I never knew that well to begin with. But in creating the heroes for this series, I imagined those young brothers as I hope they turned out: successful, kind, and community-minded. Without even knowing it, the young men and women on the plots inspired me, and here I am, years later, writing about them.
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