A Century of Fellowship: The Arch Social Club

A Century of Fellowship: The Arch Social Club

the arch social club is a combination of
things primarily it is a social plot it’s about the intellectual and
spiritual uplift of the people and up there and the community but also it is a
for-profit corporation it became incorporated back in 1912 it was a time
during segregation during Jim Crow where you know african-american men were
targeted for standing you know just being in their own community standing
outside so the individual members decided to create their own institution
to house the activities that they were going to do we earn early day we acted
as a community organization as well as a conscious culture center you know that’s
how we acted because we were part of community and everybody came to our
social club like they came here just to talk to the lawyer for advice they came
here just to talk to the doctor’s degree advice our church club had history
makers in the club they had graduated from college at the University they were
educated people it would like early civil rights fighters at that particular
time kind of change things you know after the desegregation people began to
migrate out of the community and so we our membership began to drop we were up
around 300 members and I guess we’re about like some way around 65 and then
also in this generation become a part of social clubs and stuff like that it’s
not quite it’s not quite as popular yet until we reap a polarizer but through
that we’re working on that one I grew up learning about these guys about these
brothers about these individuals who were strictly about the service of their
community and preservation of their culture so when I met him it was like
you know this all the thing about club we’re probably club and and and the
thing about private means you know because some things in private clubs you
don’t tell everything so because we are because we’re not a political exaction
you could be a Democrat Republican or atheist no matter what your religious
views you no matter what it is you’ve been my mouth social club we never had a
cloth to say white can join a club we just was a men’s club
also there are community investor we support so you might come in here on
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday it’s no telling you know what
organization and maybe in here for meeting or you know trying to have some
type of an event that’s really how we first met with our Denise Johnson
executive director of our 501 C 3 our social commercial network I think that
the beautiful thing that I’m feeling now is the level of respect that they give
me and the and they hold me in value so I feel blessed sometimes I feel a little
a little I don’t know what the word is because I’m just surrounded by men and
I’m saying okay we have to figure out how do we bring more more women in right
now what we’re doing is that we we are determined to transform the image of
ground zero for Baltimore City and when people think of ground zero and paying
off right now that they could be Freddie gray uprising well we’re going to change
that and when we get finished when people think of ground zero they’re
going to think about this is the gateway to the black arts and entertainment
district when I was a little boy it was like Las Vegas you know all the movie
stars all entertainers everybody came to Baltimore James Brown temptation died
and rose you know different different people have played at the Royal Theatre
but it’s historic this was our downtown where we feel is very very important for
black people and for Baltimore City as a city is that we revitalized Pennsylvania
Avenue not just physically with stores and shops but also with a vibrant black
african-american oriented culture the club again their hearts are so they just
have such beautiful hearts and they intent to continue to support the
community sometimes over the years they have let people use the space for free
when you first come into the ark social club there’s a banner
upon the in the foyer area inside of the museum and it says we are all social
club members and our goal is to service our community and preserve our culture
so those two basic things right dad just fell on my heart we have to be patient
with each other so with that patience and what that love
is easier to offer them you know services now yeah so service to the
community and preservation of our culture most important things but for anybody out there who are high
rollers or know people who have those big dollars we have our historic
structures report it’s going to cost five million dollars to totally renovate
this building my phone number is four one zero seven four six four eight one
nine phase one’s gonna cost 1.6 million so just give me a call

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Arch Social Club is the best back in 1996, when l first was introduced to a variety of people…you learn best from the elders, l learned how to do the steps in line dancing and of course regular music kept me dancing until, l was tired…very professional people came to the club, just say they do not entertain no foolishness and your attired had to be nice…you're not going to get in looking any kind of way…l love this club so much, Friday and Saturday was the best…they really did a great job keeping the history alive and well!!!

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