verb Black Phi-lan-thro-py: actively participating in the betterment of the lives of Black people. Can be done by giving and sharing time and resources (money, tools, materials).

Our ancestors lived in common-UNITY. They understood helping their neighbor was good for them. This is our oldest tradition that came with us from Africa, and one if not the main reason we are still here now. Black Philanthropy in America got it’s organized start with the Free African Society (FAS) and the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The FAS helped keep free Black people free and help them free their loved ones still held in slavery. It provided them with the nurture and care that was needed to start a free life in America. The AME Church, started schools, provided a sense of community and belonging to many free Black people across America.

In the 1920’s it was Black business in Harlem that fueled The Harlem Renaissance. This was the first time where we as a collective we’re actively documenting and telling OUR stories through different mediums poetry, dance, painting and novels. We still reflect on this prolific time and the impact it had not only on Black America, but American culture.

In the 1960’s it was Black Philanthropy that fueled the Civil Rights Movement. Organizations such as the NAACP and their Legal Defense Fund bailed protestors out of jail and represented them in court. Our community giving was able to make sure that our community leaders were able to travel and represent us in the highest places of power in this country.

Black Philanthropy Exhibit at Jesse H. Jones Library

This program was done in conjunction with State Representative Jarvis Johnson, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Jesse H. Jones Library in 2017.