Black History Moment: The Arch Social Club (ASC) of Baltimore, MD

by Feb 23, 2021Blog0 comments

Today’s black history moment about Baltimore’s Arch Social Club (ASC), showcases a third reason why biologically unrelated African Americans might form an intentional family: to foster a culture of excellence centered around a shared racial/ethnic heritage.
The Arch Social Club (ASC) – Key Highlights
* Founded in 1905 by three black men from Baltimore: Raymond A. Coates, Jeremiah S. Hill, and Samuel L. Barney
* Officially incorporated on March 15, 1912
* The ASC fostered a culture of excellence among its members by living up to the following creed: “We are strong, moral men who believe in service to our community, preservation of our culture, friendship and brotherly love.”
* In 2019, the ASC received a Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) Heritage Award for being a generational supporter of Baltimore’s African American community and culture
* Today, the ASC is a critical component in the revitalization of Pennsylvania Avenue’s historic African American arts & entertainment district in West Baltimore
The Arch Social Club (ASC) – Significance
* Oldest known, continuously operating black men’s social club in Baltimore City and the State of Maryland (only second oldest known, continuously in the USA)
* Due to an increasingly hostile racial climate endured by African Americans in the early 20th century, the ASC’s founding was a symbol of African Americans’ search for collective survival in building a parallel civil society
* The ASC’s creed helped instill a sense of kinship among its members, ultimately attracting/connecting them to a broad cross-section of Baltimore’s African American population
Visit the websites below and/or conduct your own research to learn more about the ASC:
The Arch Social Club (ASC)
Video: A Century of Fellowship – The Arch Social Club (ASC)
Baltimore’s Civil Rights Heritage – The Arch Social Club (ASC)

Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) Heritage Awards
ASC Landmark Designation Report (City of Baltimore)


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