New York City: John P. Wharton, 1920. 9¼” x 6”. Stapled self wrappers. pp. , (including wrappers). Good: two and three inch splits at top and bottom of spine, respectively, but holding; minor loss and couple of small tears on front wrapper; a couple of dog ears; center bifolium detached.
The Improved Benevolent Order of Elks of the World is a network of professionals working for the good of the community. Established when the white Benevolent Order of Elks refused admission to blacks seeking membership, this brotherhood distinguished itself from other fraternal orders by welcoming and accepting members with differing ideologies. At their Fourth Annual Elks' Night, this souvenir program commemorated the event at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem. Members gathered to watch the Lafayette Players, an all black company of actors, perform “Fair and Warm, A Farce in Three Acts,” by Avery Hopgood.
Inside this publication are advertisements of businesses and products that catered to black men and women, such as a made-to-order high class suit tailor, a barber shop with both male and female attendants, and The “Esmeralda” Manufacturing Company, maker of women's hair care products marketed to Spaniards, Mexicans, and Creoles that claimed: “It will grow your hair long, soft, and glossy.” The program had spaces for members to introduce themselves, and extend greetings to other members of the fraternal order, such as one from James H. Anderson, Exalted Ruler of Monarch Lodge, No. 45 alongside an image of him well-dressed and dapper, the epitome of a professional.
A keepsake from an organized brotherhood of professionals dedicated to the greater good of the black community at the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance.
None located on OCLC.
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