On Beale St., near what used to be the Bumpus Beale Avenue Grocery, is a historical marker that served as the destination of a march from the DoubleTree Hotel on Union Ave. in Downtown Memphis last Saturday (June 11). The good-spirited marchers shared a fraternal bond with the man the marker honored, Abram Langston Taylor.
A century ago – January 9th, 1914 – at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Taylor became the principal founder of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., along with Leonard F. Morse and Charles I. Brown. Four years earlier, he had conceived the idea at the grocery while talking to a recent Howard graduate about Greek letter fraternities.
That story was briefly recounted as the early Saturday morning marchers respectfully assembled for a wreath-laying ceremony. Theodore J. Lewis Jr. helped put things in context. He's the Southwestern Region Director, Tau Iota Sigma ~ Memphis Alumni Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.