Topics: Phillis Wheatley, African American, Black people Pages: 9 (2973 words) Published: February 17, 2014
Jane Hunter

“A Nickel and a Prayer”

Malone, UST 202, Section 505

References: 8
Hunter, J. E., & Thomas, R. R. (2011). A nickel and a prayer the autobiography of Jane Edna Hunter. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

Keating, W. D. (1995). Cleveland a metropolitan reader. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press.

Kusmer, K. L. (1976). A ghetto takes shape: Black Cleveland, 1870-1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

- Phyllis Wheatley Community Center. (n.d.). Phyllis Wheatley Community Center. Retrieved December 5, 2013, from

The heart of Bassett place: W. Gertrude Brown and the Wheatley house. (2006). Films On Demand. Retrieved December 5, 2013, from

Liggett, D. (n.d.). Phyllis Wheatley Community Center. Placeography RSS. Retrieved December 13, 2013, from

Hallman, C. (n.d.). Phyllis Wheatley Center nears 90 years, Director says strength comes through community support. Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved December 13, 2013, from James, R. (n.d.). Director Milon talks about what holds communities together. MSR Online The Voice of the Twin Cities African American Community RSS. Retrieved December 13, 2013, from

Settlement housing was introduced to aid the poor and disenfranchisement by providing education, recreation and basic human services to those in need. By the 1920’s the peak years of racism erode, prohibiting blacks from recreational facilities, hotels, restaurants, and theaters and even interracial marriages. And although blacks in Minneapolis were excelling equivalent to that of whites in literacy, a since of community tie was nonexistent on its north side. In the mid 1920’s an astonishing increase of single African American women were migrating to Minneapolis’s north side. In order to combat inequality, stereotype, and poverty amongst her people, an African American social worker by the name of Mattie Brain, alongside a group of her friends forged an “unlikely sisterhood” with the Woman’s Christian Association. From this alliance the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center was prompted. Founded to act as a foster for impoverished African American woman, the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center opened its doors on October 17, 1924 as a settlement house, whose director; W. Gertrude Brown quickly recruited locals with the urban community. Introducing Wheatley into the community was now being implemented to extend to serve all segments of the African American community. Programs such as the four o’clock readings, athletic events and boys and girl scouts provided community ties and strength. By 1927 the expansion of the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center became a cornerstone that received 5,000 visitors a month. On October 14, 1929 it vacated the old facility on 808 Bassett Place and migrated to a larger and newly modeled 2 story building at 809 Aldrich Avenue North where 2,175 people attended. The new and reinvented …agency became the center of the African American social scene and it evolved into a home-away-from-home for numerous African-American civic leaders, educators, entertainers and students (Phyllis Wheatley Community Center n.d.). A place where W. Gertrude Brown referrers to as "the greatest settlement house in the U.S. for Negroes” (The heart of Bassett place: W. Gertrude Brown and the Wheatley house. (2006). Funding under a paternalistic board of white women, the top floor included nine rooms that serviced as a hotel that held a dinner room, carpenter shop kitchen, parlor, a men’s club room, dental welfare clinic as well as an infant welfare clinic. On the bottom floor were office...
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