Afro Charities was incorporated as a 501-C3 nonprofit organization in 1963, however the official mission of Afro Charities is rooted in the Afro American Newspapers’ longstanding dedication to community service. From the inception of its founding in 1892 by John H. Murphy Sr., the company took on the responsibility of uplifting the African American community through charitable programs.
The longest standing program presently engineered by Afro Charities is the Afro Clean Block Program, which was established by, Ms. Frances L. Murphy I, daughter of Afro founder John H. Murphy Sr. A Baltimore City educator for over 30 years, upon her retirement Ms. Murphy was charged to pilot an activity to keep city children busy during the summer months. In 1934, after recruiting neighborhood children, Ms. Murphy led trash pick-ups, flower planting, painting, and other activities. The children elected as block captains competed across the city with the winner declared the “Cleanest Block in the City.” The success of Clean Block spawned participation of thousands of children and was replicated in cities nationwide. Today, Afro Clean Block has expanded to include the movement to “going green” and has been renamed Afro Clean Green Block. Through games and contests, friendly neighborhood competitions, cash prizes and other incentives, Afro Clean Green Block continues to encourage clean, safe neighborhoods and remains the oldest environmental program in the nation.
Afro Mrs. Santa is another endeavor of Afro Charities that has roots in this legacy of service. Established in 1947 to provide families with food, clothing and toys during the holiday season, Afro readers are encouraged to nominate those who stand in need of aid from Mrs. Santa. But Mrs. Santa doesn’t limit herself to assisting at just Christmas time. Over the years, Mrs. Santa has assisted families with food baskets at Easter and Thanksgiving, as well as assisting families that were victims of local hurricanes. Through this program thousands of less fortunate families are assisted locally.
Recently, Afro Education has acquired access to over 1 million digitized articles written by the Afro-American Newspapers between 1892 and the present. The primary mission of this newspaper was to report the news important to the African American community that most mainstream newspapers largely ignored. African Americans nationally and internationally have relied on the Afro for decades to report their news. This new, century-long, digital archive presents an accounting of historical events from a perspective unavailable elsewhere. The amount of historical topics found within these articles is needless to say, limitless: eyewitness accounts of lynchings, original cartoons by Romare Bearden, the staff cartoonist from 1934-1935, in-depth perspective on the March on Washington, the fight for equal access, the fight for equal education, even weekly chronicles of the path to the White House for President Obama; all these topics and so much more can be found within the pages of the Afro. The longevity of the Afro provides an historical arc of the 20th century that many publications simply cannot provide. Our charge then is to find the best ways to continue to underscore the importance of the information that lies within this periodical.
In an effort to share this once in a lifetime compilation of history, Afro Charities, is proposing to create historical digital collections using these articles and in many instances original artwork. Our mission is to educate the public at large on events impacting the African American community over the last 120 years. These digital collections will be rich in primary sources and available for use by both public and private school systems, colleges and universities, home schooled families, dedicated researchers and interested individuals through PBS Teachers. Through their website, www.TeachersDomain.org, collections are available to nearly 1 million registered users.
Afro Charities Inc has proven a proven to be a necessary conduit that has extended the relationship between the Afro and its readership beyond the newspaper. Our mission is to empower, enrich, improve, and educate the readership community of the Afro Newspapers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THE AFRO CHARITIES PROGRAMS, CONTACT SUSAN GOULD AT 410-554-8289 OR SUSAN@AFRO.COM