"Blacks were generous and committed to self help long before the so-called era of dependency. By 1831 there were more than 43 black benevolent or mutual aid societies in Philadelphia alone. In addition to that, there were mutual aid organizations in the 1780's, the club women of the 1880's, or the rent parties of 1930's.
In the 18th, 19th and early 20th century, blacks were their own united ways."
John Hope Bryant