- Advertisement -
Home Our History Buying Black How The Free African Society Set The Blueprint For Black Banks, Insurance...

How The Free African Society Set The Blueprint For Black Banks, Insurance & Real Estate Companies

- Advertisement -

Photo: Mother Bethel AME Church & Richard Allen Museum

t’s difficult to say how Black businesses would have developed, had there never been a Free African Society. Shortly before the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the Free African Society (FAS) was formed in Philadelphia as a mutual aid society, expressly for “free Africans and their descendants,” in Philadelphia. As the first Black mutual aid society in Philadelphia, FAS cared for orphans and widows, the sick and unemployed– without government assistance– and set the stage for the earliest Black banks, insurance and real estate firms. FAS is a critical piece of Black business history that shouldn’t be forgotten.

FREE AFRICAN SOCIETY Established in 1787 under the leadership of Richard Allen and Absolom Jones, this organization fostered identity, leadership, and unity among Blacks and became the forerunner of the first African-American churches in this city. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1991

The roots of FAS, naturally, go back to racism. Absalom Jones and Richard Allen were Methodist ministers who left the St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church because Blacks were, even in the “house of God,” viciously segregated. FAS was formed as a religious organization and mutual aid society, in direct response. FAS helped former slaves first legitimize their marriages and helped Black people gain dignity in death: they leased a burial plot so that Black people would no longer be placed in unmarked graves. FAS would go on to build their own house of worship, St. Thomas African Episcopal Church, in 1794.

FAS played a critical role in delivering health care to Philadelphians of all races. During the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, Black nurses took a leading role in the city. FAS also a strong emphasis on educating Black children. By 1837, in fact, 10 private schools for Black children were operating in Philadelphia. FAS also taught principles of personal finance and saving, which laid the groundwork for banks in the Black community. Further, the emphasis of mutual aid naturally led to the rise of Black owned insurance companies. All of the amazing activities of FAS were funded primarily by membership dues: Black people were asked to pay one shilling a month to make sure that the community could service its own needs.

Absalom Jones and Richard Allen were victims of racism, for sure. Rather than complain to their peers and beg the racist Methodist church for “inclusion,” however, they asked their people to put their money together, so that they could build their own. Allen, Jones and other leaders had a clear vision but it took the people trusting each other enough to put their money together to make it work. FAS was actually proceeded by the Newport, Rhode Island Free African Union Society and they should be honored as pioneers. FAS built on their work with a scope and reach that is today still a wonder.

- Advertisement -
D'Juan Hopewell
I care about Black Power. Period. Currently working on creating jobs and funding new startups on the South Side of Chicago and writing here and there at HopewellThought.com. Follow me @HopewellThought.
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

348,245FansLike
0FollowersFollow
220,589FollowersFollow
0FollowersFollow
3SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Make Money In Real Estate With the Help of CCIREA

The Creating Cash in Real Estate Academy is a Black-owned Academy focused on providing a resources to Black entrepreneurs in the real estate business
- Advertisement -

From Achy Feet to Better Skin, ALittlePeace Has Product for Healing

Alittlepeace products is a holistic brand aimed at providing the best products for your health journey, from eczema cream to herbal teas

High Ticket Freedom’s Bootcamp Will Transform Your Business

If you’re a business owner now or you dream of becoming one in the future, you can’t afford to miss the free 3-day Online...

Black-owned Canned Goods Now Available In Stores Nationwide

Goode Foods is a Black family-owned canned goods company that is “Dedicated to Good Nutrition for Our Country”

Related News

Make Money In Real Estate With the Help of CCIREA

The Creating Cash in Real Estate Academy is a Black-owned Academy focused on providing a resources to Black entrepreneurs in the real estate business

From Achy Feet to Better Skin, ALittlePeace Has Product for Healing

Alittlepeace products is a holistic brand aimed at providing the best products for your health journey, from eczema cream to herbal teas

High Ticket Freedom’s Bootcamp Will Transform Your Business

If you’re a business owner now or you dream of becoming one in the future, you can’t afford to miss the free 3-day Online...

Black-owned Canned Goods Now Available In Stores Nationwide

Goode Foods is a Black family-owned canned goods company that is “Dedicated to Good Nutrition for Our Country”

Heal Dry, Itchy Skin With ItzMade4Me Body Butters

ItzMade4Me is a Black-owned skincare company dedicated to producing all-natural, allergen-free skin and hair care products
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here