In April 2010, Xavier Christopher Foster, a freshman at the historically black Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, walked into a private apartment for a Kappa Alpha Psi pledge meeting.
Instead of learning more about one of the nation's oldest African-American fraternities, he endured five hours of "near nonstop beatings, verbal and psychological abuse" at the hands of Kappas (a.k.a. Pretty Boys). The weapons of choice ranged from wood paddles to rods.
Less than two weeks later on May 3, doctors diagnosed Foster -- honored by the Pretty Boys as a member of the "Century Club," which is bestowed on any pledge that can put up with at least 100 blows during the initiation process -- with acute renal failure.
The ailment prevents the kidneys from properly filtering toxins and other waste products from the blood. After skin grafts were placed on his wounds, Foster would lack 10 percent of his renal function, a condition that continues today.
These are just some of the allegations that Foster has made in a lawsuit filed on January 5 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division against Kappa Alpha Psi, Jarvis Christian College and four individuals who participated in the beatings.
The details of Foster's alleged torment are eerily similar to those experienced by Lee West III, a University of Houston graduate who told his story to the Houston Press in "Sons of Blood and Thunder."
A year before Foster's alleged episode, West III says that he suffered physical and psychological damage at the hands of Omega Psi Phi members while pledging the African-American frat. Like Foster, West III required hospital treatment following the underground initiation meetings that included blows to the lower back and buttocks with a wooden board wrapped in duct tape and a TV antenna.
As a result, West III and his father Lee West II (who was an Omega member in the late 1970s) filed a suit against Omega Psi Phi and four of its alleged perpetrators. As of the time this post was published, the West family will have its day in Harris County Civil Court on April 2.
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