Sep. 22, 2020
The Origin Of The Iconic Ow Ow 1974
Another Iota Phi Theta Fraternity History Lesson
The Origin Of The Iconic Call Ow Ow
Roy “Eastside” Roosevelt
Just a little more Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. history. The origin of the iconic saying Ow, Ow.
There has been some confusion about the saying Ow, Ow. First off I believe the term originated on the dance floors of Baltimore City. There was a time when you were on the dance floor that brothers would make bird-like calls like Ark, Ark. I believe that my Fraternity Brother
Roy “Eastside” Roosevelt from Bowie State College Mu Chapter took that guttural sound and modified to the iconic Ow, Ow.
According to Clinton “Wolf” Jennifer, Eastside took hold of Ow, Ow, and used it as a greeting when meeting and speaking to brothers of the shield. Roy Roosevelt grew up a few blocks from me in East Baltimore and he pledged the same pledge season that I pledged Spring, 1974. I know for a fact that Eastside originated Ow, Ow because he did indeed make the iconic call his Iota Phi Theta Fraternity calling card. The more Roy said Ow, Ow. The more the term became apart of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity lore. It’s amazing that a dance call from the Baltimore City dance halls has survived nearly 46 years and has now become an iconic call to become a signature brotherhood greeting.
Roy “Eastside” Roosevelt now resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He still loves Iota Phi Theta Fraternity and the brothers of the shield. I bet if you see him to this day. Eastside will greet you with an Ow, Ow.