Congratulations to The Detroit Study Club on its 110th Anniversary!
In the late 1800s, Detroit had a fairly sizable Black professional class of attorneys, doctors, and educators. However, it was nearly impossible to find suitable places for Black women to gather together and discuss intellectual or political topics of the day.
In 1898 Detroit Black Socialite Gabrielle Lewis Pelham invited five of her good friends into her home to discuss Robert Browning’s poetry. The group blossomed into a club that focused not only on intellectual pursuits, but also philanthropic and civil rights activities.
They also provided scholarships and grants to various organizations dedicated to the betterment of life for Black people. Early in the 20th Century, The Detroit Study Club became one of two Black women’s groups to hold membership in the Detroit Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Throughout the years, The Detroit Study Club continued on its original mission of intellectual enrichment of its membership while maintaining an intimate size.
Membership is by invitation only and is currently capped at 45 members.
Today, The Detroit Study Club welcomes its fifth generation of members – many of whom are descendants of the founding group.
Cooper, Desiree. 'Club's Name is it's goal for 110 years.' Detroit Free Press, May 7, 2008
Gatewood, Willard. Aristocrats of Color: The Black Elite 1880-1920
Hine, Darlene Clark. Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History