On top of being Oscar-nominated screenwriters, movie stars, and possibly the funniest twins in comedy, Kenny ’07 and Keith Lucas ’07 can add another feather to their philosophical caps as members of Phi Beta Kappa.
The Lucas Brothers, who returned to campus in October to host a master class and Q&A about their film, Judas and the Black Messiah, came back to TCNJ on April 27 to officially accept their invitation to the prestigious honor society.
“Immediately after college, we knew what we needed to do to finally accomplish our goal of becoming members of PBK,” said Keith. “We just needed to create a historic, Oscar-winning film about Chairman Fred Hampton that President Obama loved,” Kenny continued.
The Lucas Brothers joined 118 TCNJ undergrads who were officially welcomed as members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society that has more than 500,000 members. Phi Beta Kappa celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
“This is a phenomenal accomplishment and you should all feel incredibly proud,” Kenny told the student inductees.
Felicia Steele, president of TCNJ’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, was on stage to address the twins on their achievement. “You have already made invaluable contributions to our national conversations on race and systemic inequality. Our chapter celebrates your deep and durable commitment to the liberal arts and your commitment to and engagement with a vibrant and intellectually and historically honest society.”
Co-written by Kenny and Keith Lucas, Judas and the Black Messiah was released in February 2021 and tells the story of Fred Hampton, a leader of the Black Panther Party, who was assassinated by the FBI. The twins learned about Hampton in Chris Fisher’s class as undergraduate students.
“We took the education that we gained here and we used it to force the country to have a conversation about this abhorrent tragedy,” Keith said. “We are living proof of the value of a TCNJ degree.”
— David Pavlak