5 Early All-Black Women’s Club in the State of Illinois

0 Posted by - October 7, 2021 - Black History, BLACK WOMEN, LATEST POSTS

The Autumn Leaf Club

The Autumn Leaf Club was the oldest all-black women’s club in the state of Illinois. The club was organized in June 1890 by Madame Crumner Davis and had a membership of 24 women. The club devoted their efforts toward assisting Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church and raised large sums of money.

The Big Sister’s Club

The Big Sister’s Club was organized in 1913 with ten members. Some prominent members included Lillian Buster, Olive Clanton, Lillian Jameson and Sylvia Lawrence.

The motto of the club was ‘Lift as We Climb.’ The group also adopted the colors of white and green. The women focused on charity and social uplift. They aided numerous families with clothing, groceries, and coal. Families who were not able to pay their rent had their debt paid. Young children who needed help finding a safe home were placed with loving families. By 1918, the club began purchasing a seven-room house to use as a home for dependent black women and children.

The Union Charity Club

The Chicago Union Charity Club was organized on April 10. 1910. Enna Chandler served as the first President. The club was established as an auxiliary of the Old Folk’s Home, its activities for the first few years were restricted, but as the membership climbed so did their success and efforts. The women performed general charitable work for individuals who were in need of their services. The club was later able to provide contributions to other organizations including the YWCA, Frederick Douglas Memorial Fund, and the Old Folk’s Home.

Cornell Charity Club

Organized January 23, 1902, in the neighborhood of Fifty-fourth and Wright streets, now Normal Boulevard, with a membership of fifteen. The Cornell Charity Club helped those in need without regards to race, creed, color, or any other condition. The members aided individuals as well as several other organizations.

Colored Woman’s Club

The Colored Woman’s Club was organized in 1901 in Bloomington, Illinois. The club organized for the purpose of bringing women into the community together to take a greater interest in literature, philanthropy, and networking. Emma Smith served as the organizations, first president.



Archives State of Illinois

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