The overall concept of the 100 began in New York in 1963 when a group of concerned African American men began to meet to explore ways of improving conditions in their community. The group eventually adopted the name, “100 Black Men, Inc.” as a sign of solidarity. These men envisioned an organization that would implement programs designed to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minorities. They also wished to ensure the future of their communities by aiming an intense number of resources toward youth development. These members were successful black men from various walks of life. These visionaries were business and industry leaders such as David Dinkins, Robert Mangum, Dr. William Hayling, Nathaniel Goldston III, Livingston Wingate, Andrew Hatcher, and Jackie Robinson.
Dr. William Hayling, a member of the NY organization, had relocated to Newark, NJ and sought to replicate the 100′s impact in that area. In 1976 Dr. Hayling formed the 100 Black Men of New Jersey. A movement had been born. Men across the country began to form 100 Black Men organizations to leverage their collective talents and resources. Chapters were formed in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, Nassau/Suffolk, Alton, and Sacramento.
On September 21, 1983, a three-hour meeting was held at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., among representatives from the Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, and St. Louis chapters. This meeting was to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a National Organization for 100 Black Men. This meeting was held during the annual weekend meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Representative of St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, Nassau/Suffolk and Sacramento met for a second time in Las Vegas, May 11-13, 1984, at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. The men engaged in extensive discussions about the most effective structure to support the growth and governance of 100 Black Men chapters.
The third meeting was held May 16-18, 1986 at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. At this meeting it was agreed that the best model for a newly-formed national organization was a federation governance model. This model leveraged human and financial resources, and supported chapter growth while preserving chapter autonomy. It was also voted that a National Steering Committee would include the Presidents of each chapter, along with two members from each chapter.
A final meeting was held on October 2, 1986 at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington. Chapters represented were: Los Angeles, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Atlanta and New Jersey. The chapters decided that the name of the organization would be: “100 Black Men of America, Inc.”
The following individuals were elected as officers:
Dr. William Hayling (Los Angeles) President
Moses Gray (Indianapolis) Secretary
Oliver Lofton, Esq. (New Jersey) Vice-President
Jesse C. Swanigan (St. Louis) Treasurer
On May 27, 1987, in Atlanta, Georgia, this newly formed organization introduced itself to the nation during its first national conference. Noted speakers included the late Alex P. Haley and the late Honorable Maynard H. Jackson.
In 1989, Nathaniel Goldston became the organization’s second National President and grew the organization to 43 chapters. Thomas W. Dortch Jr. was elected the third National President in 1994. That year he spearheaded an aggressive plan entitled “Four for the Future.” Since that time, the organization has strategically channeled its resources toward programs that support these important areas: Mentoring, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Development. The 100 has identified these areas as being critical to the future of African Americans.
In 1997 Chairman Dortch expanded the organization internationally with the chartering of the Birmingham, England chapter. Additional international chapters followed; Nassau Bahamas, Goree Island, Senegal, Kingston, Jamaica, U.S. Virgin Islands, and London, England chapters. It was also in 1997 that the organization purchased its World Headquarters building on historic Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2004, Albert E. Dotson, Jr., Esq. was elected the fourth National President. He has focused the organization on Leadership Development in all of the Four for the Future areas. Today the organization has grown to over 105 chapters with more than 10,000 members who continue to strive to improve the quality of life in our communities and enhance the educational and economic opportunities for African Americans. 100 Black Men of America, Inc. has more than 100,000 youth participants annually in its mentoring and youth development programs.
With a mission to improve the quality of life and enhance educational opportunities for African Americans, members of the 100 continue to serve as a strong force in the world by overcoming the cultural and financial obstacles that have limited the achievements of some African Americans, particularly young African American males. Members of the 100 have made outstanding progress, proving that Blacks can, and do, excel as corporate leaders, community leaders and as independent business owners.