Before I became a writer of romantic fiction, I was a sucker for a great love story. Later, when I was on line as a pyramid, I was instantly fascinated by the marriage of Edna Brown Coleman and Frank Coleman.
The long-standing relationship between the sorors of Delta Sigma Theta and the brothers of Omega Psi Phi began when Edna Brown and Frank Coleman came together at Howard University. Edna Brown, valedictorian and class president at Howard University, became one of the twenty-two founders of Delta in 1913. Two years earlier, Frank Coleman, quite an accomplished brother in his own right, had joined three other progressive Howard men to found the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Through Edna and Frank, the purple and gold of Omega Psi Phi and the crimson and cream of Delta became inextricably linked. Coleman Love, the name for that special relationship, was born.
One can only imagine the challenges that Edna and Frank, as a couple of color, had to endure during that time in our nation’s history. World War I broke out during the decade in which Delta Sigma Theta and Omega Psi Phi were founded. Opportunities were limited. Jim Crow was in full effect; this was, after all, way before the freedoms of the civil rights movement loosened the yoke of second-class citizenship. Nonetheless, their love, along with the cohesion of a sisterhood and brotherhood rooted in traditions, must have galvanized them. After all, they were like-minded individuals who recognized the power of love and of the collective to foster change.
With all of our freedoms, couples endure their share of hardships today. They’re living with a tanking economy, two wars, a decreased standard of living, the erosion of relationships, the changing of the family dynamic… the list, sadly, can go on. The times may have changed, and the challenges may have a different face. However, the values that form the bedrock of Delta and Omega Psi Phi are still relevant today, as is the stellar example of Edna and Frank.
To think that it all began there at Howard University with twenty-two women and four men in general… with one man and one woman in particular. Edna and Frank had a desire for each other and for change… a commitment to each other and to the greater good.
It just goes to show that some of the greatest love stories are better than any fiction could ever be.
Soror Wendy Coakley-Thompson
About the Author
Wendy Coakley-Thompson is the author of Triptych, Back to Life (2004 Romantic Times Award nominee) and What You Won’t Do For Love (optioned for cable television). Coakley-Thompson also covers the publishing industry for Examiner.com. She previously wrote articles for music and fashion/lifestyle magazines in New Jersey and The Bahamas, co-hosted The Book Squad, and earned an Associated Press/Chesapeake Award for her work as a commentator on WAMU, Washington D.C.’s NPR affiliate.
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About the book
Ally and Jonathan have been married for ten years. They share a close relationship with Jonathan’s cousin Tim, whom Ally dated when they were both teenagers. Tim, now a grieving widower, is present when they receive the news that Jonathan has a highly malignant inoperable brain tumor. While they minister to Jonathan, Ally and Tim recognize that there is chemistry – still – between them. Unable to help themselves, they act on their carnal attraction. Just as guilt consumes them, Jonathan enters the mix, presenting Tim with an unorthodox proposition….
Winona Cargile Alexander – A native of Columbus, Georgia, Winona Alexander pursued studies at New York University after which she become the first Black social worker with the New York City and New York County Charities. She later settled in Jacksonville, FL as a social worker with the Duval County Welfare Board.