FORT WAYNE—The Annual Jazz Brunch, sponsored by the Jr. Lillian Jones Brown Culture Club, raises scholarship funds for youth. The annual event celebrates and honors the treasured legacy of African American women’s clubs of Fort Wayne. One of the presenters for this year’s event was Marsha Smiley, whose article “The History of Early Colored Women’s Clubs,” appears in the current issue of Old Fort News, a publication of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society.
The program acknowledged the accomplishments of local early C.W.C. clubs paying tribute to the club women who arose in the early part of last century to foster appreciation for and celebrate black culture, to instill self-reliance, and develop the gifts and talents of black youth by providing scholarships and other support. These clubs, which initially began as avenues for self-improvement, quickly moved to empowering by “uplifting their community.” In a multitude of ways, for decades, they have influenced, raised funds for youth development and local charities, and been of service to the entire Fort Wayne community.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 4 print edition.