Title Page

Title: Negro Burial Societies in Gainesville; March 1968
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00018184/00001
 Material Information
Title: Negro Burial Societies in Gainesville; March 1968
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Ergood, Bruce
Publication Date: 1968
Copyright Date: 1968
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00018184
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Full Text

I~U~C-i~O U~:A1. 2QC2Z2iM~iJS Th

Adcv;.mzcoa 14ucea 0?Jocio.o;y

SLami Schuli'aun In'ftructor


.~ubhI.ttoC. by:

Lruoc Er~ooJ

Invisible m..en have invisible orx.nizai ions. Although -hoe
Ral7)h :llison ty.e invi siblo man nacy partioi.Jato iuL ar'c4.-
ooit-ions which. li?:ke tho, ar. ui-ocn -by the majority
of the non-iocro population, this need not bo so, nor is
it justifiably so for' the cooial sci ntist. Ur-fortmun

. alpi llison Ia;nvisible Y., Handon House, 1947.
"I c:a ivisibslo, usLor3 nd, a-. ly beccuse people r.f zse
to se n:i" p. 3.

a y, this has too often bo-., t.h cace. 's a result, both
the lit'raturo of "dcriptive ao:rican Othnology and theo
analysis of i'oj'o social or-niationi suffer.

l.y iivestigtioun of .e0;ro buriial cliub has led n-. to a0iiy
st-dies of rural or. ni'J.ion and- rural social systems.
It would be a gross ..und.o-ta-:LCnt to su s't that -egro
coronation the ~egro churches included, have boen
la,2:ely overloolked or ignored by soci'1 scientists 2 It

2 Acndix I licts so:10 of t.he studies whre those o0i:ia-
SLunL occur ;s Gwell as other sources vhi-h oen to 2ej-0
all but the very obvi-u. t e-ro social or.ni"ations.

iO I hnt:..le *TGhat so imuoh of l.czro social lifo has boon
so little 7tuaied. If ,orica is as it in said, a nation
"of joinr,, aMid if n... LIyrdal's all.o ation that "th
Ane3rican ..ro i an o'acr.-tod _orica" is tru, thon.
e n"..d to lool at a to study the : their social
or ~nza ,-n .o reflect va lueo, -iv ur oseO to lifo and'

3 .:- a"uoi:od in Jhar-1ec .. csley, i>..r ag "-^';27X 1J.
S o]evolont aad Pr-. ecti.. 2._ <^ 9 -,. 3. .... ... . ...a.-

HistoV InJ. 1955.- of. 'c ( rnold Rose, ^h- acr; o w 31s O2t
-oacon .r as, 194, 262.
""' .,, ...... u '-').f ""--L";j ...
oz...>nl ..; .. ,-C 2'i.o '- ", 2~' .rl" ,o.. ;' l f -=.''

This i.nquiry is ex:~;orntoi'y, a nar~haCl n~ote oni tho page
of Nogro socialQ organizations. iThe~ 1itpratura on .11aro
lnba aid soooitiocu id~ u~c;:t021Jy Aaitcd lh- t~ao
mociborsThip in then in extani nvo Wo>V most of tho a :wtorial

perp12s dihrectly rlolted to the pliono2mna J3ioew. 2: YU1-
cra~l (diroctorco and2 oontrac'c oo pzrov'ided ior2jaabcnrt;
bixbial. clu~bs electf.j ofificors a-nd :-noz)oIimrcD)ro-
priLato aiutual aid adil~ beofA ~ societies, ana ,-Cvsons of'
MUMc2L ageo or over ~AAA ontensiva Lznow.loj)o andC arti~ci-~
pation in social orCxuanzatitons Lave ;-I Oi
aru n .1a .vodiic ouXch information gotten2 fr02l
~vC tho twTo il1'u 0tJ0?O5I.iOjVl~~ ti.or ofQura
c:lifbrh a-,, ra2atced b ivolovA; socio Ies LI2kc up tixa majo-r
content of Ki zyot B:o;wOor, historical -. crnoctives
andi logi2n;2tion volaing to thi o~r"on is a neocosar~
Dart ofL 7Uiy ndaut dicusi~o:on of the top)ic.Th rLo iclcto
subject of the siJYni:f2L i~c- of: th Igo chuohasy the

induo t-ry, ~thr p~ace of ouslatitV :,o tlio LORC
insnvnu canais3 fior' tho hcjiro d~ollar~c', anith:2 social
role those mu.tu nl aidi an MAY=~inc Dar.MPo:,, :in a~o__-_x~ a2ity

4- The write is C)2d7Mt!< posuiL3V th2:O,,: a~nfl'_~a
Ca22as ana to -ia far tli. _antcac Thcooi at tic UjnWQojaity
of 21arida.,

WtmVirv-_O711 1:02 illf~ 3 MWM; description ofl whnl. is
pro;vidd ill An-lanix 5i. 1 firs o -t-ctu jesn 111
the7 Pi3ty of cGaino~vil1c wvho 1thon)~ht ni'ht oithar. kn~ow
a ~o; ut, buialZ.J. m o-- 021OV.I,~ko o L

woild iio about tI:.. rionds, social wor-ers, and per-
sons working ith oroe orG i2-e .Lirst cot.'.ct., ci co
I c: nv to t"he. CO; unityy 2.id had few o'ro o0 uaintSnOs.
I then so-Ii.J- Out. ersons naned as hav.Ln;c the information
. was seeking ar-d stated my intor"t. At the time I wa
can .lotoly iQnorant about the top.ic. T. infomonto, '.ho
are raferrd to by number to protect their oornfioence,
wor.. coo:era'.tive -and only rarely b"etrye.d any doubt a
to ry intoer'ity or urp.,ooes. I Boiza coBp:letcly holiest

.5 It should be noted at this point th..t bitrial sooietio
woro all but doolored 1 ". .1 in 1953 by the Stat Leis-
lture. Thio joint is discussed below.

a to y obj"cotive madte the task, I bli.evo, both s'-ple
and or-edible.

.-!I ncaes of the burial clubs hove boen chan od to r'otoot
their identity. The m tcorial hartin preGsented is .:'. eo-
sult of fi2taon : _.'tucr intovies, and is just-a
bciajinf:', although Mher is probably little more to add
to the doscrition of th. burial cl-ub' .Vs actual znun-
.ber .of .men"ra in ,any iven period.

', ', "O-, -onovalont uric. : ub. T.C-his cl e' -uCs ubn.'o .d d
in 1930 and o" rated for fivo ye.rd until leiulution
Taocod by the Stato LZiolature made it extremely difficult
to contin'uec operation. Of tho partners whho r. tho iuner1 l
h..o0 v hich l.-.d thOW c Elb, on .was onthu.siastic 0abou3t th.
rob .ility o- the club bri ;in business to the fir.I
%Wils tho other was doubtful. TROy hadL olui3 iji alao ua
County( whort Guinsvillo is located azd am ncoh .in two
-i-h-boring countiess. InBoran told ae that tM. Mi=11
antinuos to rcieve volun:-tary dues into th. noo non-
t \*'~~

existent club anld that he honors thecraK~~~o those

T-1 0mLL:D TIU1-beroci abU,0t 150 IihCro eanch and wr aimc
um) of 3ruraal, ;oor pooo-le. Skoveaiy five ;Dor coat of the
2jcoc,;i~mic. said to be ruar~l persomb, all o': %-oAi
had a I n ot too o as,-y t ii. c 1ct_ -pin ul, o en the io ra nist
bv~iail cliub duos, L3 nor;AI LI

T12he fiumormI divrector sold contrxcts to yereons
to 2cri.orm a certain services at death of thdormtractez:
in return f or regular )cantof tthe bu~rial dues. Am,
OanksB 13.3.0 DQ*rov.dud transportation~ of tho Way: L'rum the,
place of death to the funera~c .lo for o bc1f1 ad,
if roquest(e, vieing transp.ortation to Church Wit
than to the cn.Anj or othar place of 1nt-3-1t~K}
foes, irwlu~hio inc ;ee L~luded. Thec contract called
for the porovrisiion of a Dc_,cral o: ~OC vc:luo
saJ'rvices W~ONL non-ransferab.le, andi cczicsua-c tr~.ans-
p'ortation wOrk; only ,)rovidJoa With11..in thli; -olun;Y of z:U
buriLal club. AI dcath oocurod outside tho comrty, tlio
ol~ue k~nera. irector b.- e p_;rovidiJJnjz U-:cc 1
once the body was n::idc thc c ou-n~ty.

baliovabl;.Tcy~nsie TVOho costs wero a five~r doll.izr
initiatioLn f.eo, one dollar a -c erucadrnaee
eirn3 on oi .1cnbcro ofL 0.1 0 on the lG_ viof
;;ilz;w.ra na'ied out on1 tio first of Jcm-y and.' Ya.m.VE~
,.Fyable by FobruLVry 2C. O ia~ic aritleIactioV Xc tha~t
th, funcrl. direco loot n y on all tbhono n:bz5xn
died 'bef~r thir 175th birthday Uhat Man is the loj,'&
of such a bu i ncoc opov2.tion? iL infant A WANK~t~e that

c.X Val Wry S"Wh~'wx..3~~Is


the pur ;oces of the club were twofold: 1- to provide 0o r
a decent burial for'poor folh', and 2- to bring business
to hi2 funeral establishment. Ioz poroons voero buried
with.a 2uh hJiOher costing funoral.than the contract
called for. a-ving a contract with Oaks assured that
they would got the fr..'; but usuallytho family of
the deccacad wore not content to burcy their loved one
with ~ nero 200,00 fiunoral. Infrorant 4 recalls sa .;900.00
funeral by OaTeo froma which a burial club coint rct of ,:. 125.00
V.O. deducted.

Infoz t B dAid not toll no at hat poiLnt the contracts
cha 2n: d. It is po : iblo thatU for diff orent fee dift oernt
priced i'unorals could be bought. :.illcr -nationo that
Oa":- had funerals fro:: '75.00 to .,100.00 iO 1938. 6 B

5 ,. L. miller, unpublished Mastor T.heoic, Univ-.
rsity of lorida, 5. l L' ;., (o-f;cJs le "

business to tho fi vitho.t any loo: .o- ionoy, tho fio
hao lost m0onoy on those contraoto over the years. It
would be vory difficult to docuont this at .nit withoutt
ac.co to r"cordc of burial club meobera .r ard the fu. .rals
Oak has provided for thone ;odibors ,at their death. That
tho firn diocontiu d tho club after only five yc.rc of
o. oration, yet oonti3nus to honor contractS. vich ..r
vlit:rily ,--opt cur'."a" would .;.,uc both that the club
a indeed unprota. blo, and that it was a. ood tech-
n:icue f:or brLin; uiness. This lette or uar:ct YTcs
most oftan cit d by infornantO as the re ason for the O:n rial
.clubs..hat in'fo t B is reeuted was Ma sted by ::o at
i -for:nts. It is known th.t his club p.id hi her benfc- to

tha n didI tho othcr buria.l club inr CkainsiOiT2rL, ant th~at

aEgo andA for which Oak~s is no0 longer bouid by 12w to honor.

Vw !h'Ia ale' Burial ihocsg'ue ..vr1o was foiaunde by Hir, 'Maple,
irn 1931 Lmui. operatedc3 until 1951, or thero aboixts Wsin-
foxuant A recalled. TheoclubCL Na di:scon Cinuod. because
of ro2itv Plorida logis>l'tion (1953, son. bolowh)
I~fratA was~ unwiiJLing to O2.VC&A anfL Wornait:oll ca
.010 A&Z of tho cAI~t:b oir -ontr.actuel arrin~cLeCento. Hioi
inoreloLon. =/2 of a. LGeT2neral natureL.c wC2 TJ.2

2 WL3a niof lail S.L. v- -.a-jL3 viu-x out o I
busineoand disc ont2inuod tico cl-ub in 1951. 1 OAK~ that
conra~x'.cts we~re Xhit~on to provide a 0.250.00 burial,, ost
of ths detacils ap lyLn to conztracOts writton by~ Ueo Asoo

TLho distinLctions ~ ~ VQCpal QaiO ThY. no.LL 'u:
1 cU~ cc uL0 :i.; cinass~ andt2 is t ore2Or st.ill

thirty :1'ro ago, 2 Laple Lavo a 5J.li;.I~ LtlA hi Cc:2r
Dircoca funcrai but the costo of lc1 mC.rsi wereJCL1- i~
by compa;risan2 viil Ga i astroYJ.O>:c. Mai dueJs v/C 32
01.00 monthly for :dr. 1atI aJ-. 35 1a-iaot1i~ly/ Zo-,?i32c

cuoilc sey that thta- two bu.rial cl-ubs of:2 03 tId:. 2NJ~
sojees, yetaicl: noi WCs critical of tic; die Z-2 nor :1oJ cCL; C.hth rerding,anysI>1~4;L.~i

~~ro lc~ oan seorvco orienteaC from~ two facot. M:lJc.r
r~aroto alo asjuIo

according to Infu...:.rt A, the, under, tho fiom was !four
to five years old at the timeL 7 This might suggest that

.7 Idid-

Japle vp-s not as well accepted by cy contacts ho praMelcd
(w'hito) miller with infornat.on about voiro Gainosvillo in
the mid-lS930s. Secondly, club noora had fully aid- their
funeral costs after twenty years at adult rat.. Yct theo
contracts re-uirad lifetone o pay ---. T' ihus all duos paid
in aft..r t..nty ye..-: w was almost clear prof it for, aple,
even if the ftuncr2al of" the deceased wan at the contracted

Ifioraints disaagoo as to thM wothineso of thi burial
clubs, but wethor )bensfit of racket theo tate Lo:isla-
t.. i-n The Rular and ordinarynay 3ossion of 1929,
1931, n d 19. : y.. mado it not to im'.os.i1ble for tha
to continue business. U, der the trmso of th ot, oantitlod
chapt-r 15; 885 (Senato Bill Do. 478) the. followi. .
provisions are cta.. ed:
that all benefits to members of said Bonevoloent
wutl. benefit Aisociations, or societies oan M Asessent
Plan Organized fir the purpose of BenefitinS oRd P;:-.t.'ct-
in" embersr, eta, shall be paid in cash. Soc., 23 and 16.
That no association could operate with less than fivo
hundred (500) numbers, oc. 4
That o.er.-.tion of said aoociatino must be cortifid
,. n-, .-" , .
by the tate asuror (also the j2urance o, iioner
and certain minimal liooins.; fees aro roq.uire.. ec. 3 and 4.
Tht to be so certified a deposit of Pive Thor :
( ollar(-;5COO..00) is r3.uir.d, and further reserves of
One Dollar (,;1.00) per a nunu p'er coach One h nusand dollar
(.JCOO.00) up to a :total reserve oK ulonty 'ive Thouand

lDollArs (1253,QW.V::) also be on. rescr-vc aith the State
Mrasurer. Seec,5,
R{elig~ious, rate rnal, and public employee b ene' :1Ae
societies are exem:pt *Prom Q0~ lcgislati.;n., See. 10o
Any existinS asn00LaG:Lons of~ this doscrivptioil not
iindo6rpora~tad under terms of~ this lawi are declared~ to be
illeal nd.arc subject to fires of up to 1ivo Ktihulre&.
Dollars (0500.00) or six mnoths In 'jail on both for vio-
latinb tlio povisions of the law Se13c,.
(Thi~is a~ct became waivit~hout thc Govornor-.,s a.~v'

Se 1:now thatA0ko DenvolUit Bur'ial Club d:Lec onil-au.Lod in
.1935 as a direct result of' this lejs elation.0 Lia~esco
tinued. to operao~~ for almost twe~nty. -Lna or., ~til
l.egislatiLon of a similar na~tur wa unacted, cpe~cif yi. 2
a--onS otherX thi~nJ;s5 a Fifty Tousaind .Aollar ( ..50,000.00)
deostan iLucia 1-.LOZ' noalti for violntotI"u Thice
2w.tor20211 (House ic:hll Lo. 919) wzs enactc'J by

the 34th> Session of tWh) LegisJaPP a d, a ____cll
uses thc: tc~n-) I preo oed buriLal con~tr etc a
riot fa7)u2. in the earlier lag,:Llation.~ The exact reuac oo
OLr this second, bill oand tU. s oc~iiic dis.noton tihern~i~
will ME& be c-:: o. --.iore 1r'natAcimdhtte

US rnsupanee ntcusts Dut to r:
for lobby~ts whuo assuredc i~ts crt:ei O:L;e.sayje

T.17[0 thinic9 ar clesar fromr the ~2OfCC-- 0-., a: .11-c
latin. ire t, ,,-,,n b-oaxealcJlubs onadud operati~ Kon, oven2
-- 1, ., no e t a t,

lar~cozt ouch olub in u ac~:eonvilYl sold adll its cantracoc
to .Ocr22linsuranJ.Cc~ 00. at tha~~txL cc-.~LCan.
canvclv the con2trat in~to lifLe inorn cco 60CO.M

it is3 suL;ontodc by t3:c inposizions I liavo Gotten :Croar
iforma5nts 'that the~ riseof __.-r.. __=i-1 Ordera id~ Florcida,
coincideos KohI tiho time of this~ legislation. Thisz bncame
a"Ae Cor v:crif iLoation, madec diff ic-alt onily by theo
-iondncy of 10d~ -_br to 1:eop quiet -3)oult th-3Ja tea-
Ila!L affairs of~ thd~r order, its? Growth, fees., andi prosti-c-

lu1r2.Kl clubs ara not uniaue to i?2loricta. Tor arc thoyc solely
a. Y06ro P11011=0110Il. vd -_ i .o21ea i-~ri thisac
tc1~ ~-the' -aoiZ'~naO here' until theo 1933 :r:aisiva'

Icnovr W1 .ts in hiS:.Kv o in North Carolina, andc Gorn.n..
.AndO iiot books~ onl AY3~() life in2 Inerina m.?ntio2Q the exst
ence of? either ualaid sociecties or burial cl~ubs inon
sanYt(ncC or tw/o. 1owevO32, 4311) (1. not aj~aur to hav boon1
stu'dl_;cJ.d by th aiithoro, nor do Mhy ruvcfvcrv uhatLa:o
.in the~ w;rit~king. suiP Q IVItn to~. be. cLosa re!=Ocu
to tw:o other aroa. hereo~c: mlar~ual aid
cocicti Lc oaricilod~e or frternal orders. The lattior ave
We' vmoru viYoibly an-d thucv: m-:ost. lVihOly to be cizedi by.

lantioin vill1 only be :nado of two .vic. aiJ o~r muatualbo-
fi SOM.:M:OrS inl (Thi~ncviZllo T hoir &OLLv.a willc bej1.J
ccvi. Ma:ce thopi ara not1 sca rat soc: &es, aU. no0 can-
fi:daclotn arc batrayedo~ in. Ue infiZormto here.~in ro )0>13

lath aor Christian organization. This~ is n K&ni ficnt

"Tho in1ortomt rolec of reigonl r2di ta~LE,~ouLuc

in the social organization of AericaTL lieoroes has
.been. due to the restricted participation of i-egroos
in n"aercian society. And as a coiseque.ico the hiogro
church hUs left itos print upon practically very
aspect of Negro life. h-a oegro church has provided
the .atturn'fa organisation of mutual aid societies
-icd liiy-..ranco co.2pa.nies. U- p-rovided the pattorn of
egro fraternal ort ganizations andi Groe letter soo-

Y 3 2 ':17 "- as l C7 o (Chure> Tch in America, AoW YorJ,
ohoken Booikss 1963 p. 85.

.he, G-ainesvllle .7onalo Protootivo ,Mooiety io ono 6iich
or nniation. j.ounaod in 1903 the society prosontly has
fovu- -'rou-vs active in tho aroa. They are designated stoly
by nu beir: Cliub o 1, b io 2, ot. Their puo,
according. to Inforant COis to ;rovido aid to embobrs at
sickLneos --d dath. :c; ocrs must be Ohristiic : .. -:. but
no particular denonination io proscrihaE. Mhe womcm m- Cut
bp of 'Lood Christian moral standing. Gince ro2 amboers aro
not 21ono0ed to dicua.ns the society vita mien, I had to
got nowt of the specific information frame Infonnant 2,

0250.00 to tho f anily of a doc: n2ibr, a ,nd t the
tire of this p-y--ent .c ae ent of &.5o is node on
the total ric:bership.

I ,fon..n.t 3 corroborated th bovo information, but added
that the total Gaineovillo noo-bov.'hi. was not over 75.
-..n amual n.tin of the 2.0.0. iA hold iM OAto=r in..one
.of 0h1 loc.l cu 7c ou0,,7t \,hich tjr10 a.. cording to nfo .:"
ant 2, they put on 'a bia; .lach, c Wo 1 w. 7ith Y.hit
nifor., and lots to eut'. :.on ansd children ar in.vitd .

this function. Info:...nt 2 added that the reasons n:..wn..,
jiin the s-ociety arc for the death benefits, that it car-
rico so..o honor asnonsg -oro wVnoen, and" that it is a secret
society. It- Should be noted that the death benefits are
a monetary contribution to the fa.'ily of the deceased,
anid no limitations are placed on the use of those funds.
I have b.ce:- unable so far to discover if those typE pro-
toctive soci:etie arc cao on in other aroas". lor have I
se any reference to thr in the literature, It would
-.o ; tLhat f ale frcternal orders perf-orm the sone functions
en vherover they ap -ear would sfall under that classif-

A far nore oextonsivGr but probably similarly unique is
tho -un LiSht Pallbearors Charitable society. This or.an-
.iation was founded by rsa. LIattie J. ,haw Cohons (mnom
simi ly as -'r. Shaw) in 1923 to provide a prayer service
an.d "mutual aid to older Christia v;::ae.o, Ar. ,hax had
been a teacher in. Ocala, Fla. and after the founding of
c'Tho sunlightt' has dedicated hor life to this or0,i action
M'ich presently has well over .,. chap tor in .orida
(:ith 'a few in Georgia);, and a large temple and headquarters
in Ocala.

'ihe puros as .prosently stato-a by rs. ,haw, is not Jfar
dif. .oret fro.- that of the foundinS days: to provide -.eong_
th cistorhood reYular ;"ber -. .:;:.:-p aid in ti:Lo of
nood, visitation to th, sick, and to rescue person- wlio
havo baf.llon tragedy, even thoso ;hlio are not .eber' of
t-.e -uni' t .

The na-e of the oraanizabion has an intorecting histroy.
Eavin-" for -e t. ;ro. I.., h ;o-N prayed for :j.da.noe in
:thoini;j of thixs udavor. her prayer vas answer in


raly of rrunli,'t which illtiri-inatocd hor bech'oom tha,,t

~ S2LL~tt.The woe3 alThearC2X was ackdoc, not beoauoc
theg~roup Wore to porformi the pallbocarev function, but
rather because 4.rs. haai reculloci that in the church of
hop childhood there vo~re a roup of2 roopcoted men dailea
pallbearers aid. she felt the inclusion. of~ thut torn w~ould.
lend di gnity to tha 6roup?.

iLittij or no en" ouraj onont was give'n by the clcrjy to tho
forziation of thsL;cOQI's '3iV no ted tha~t the ftcvT
whu 5o requotcd advice ;-d~vizo2 h.*'-r not to cftart
Ac unta-Im "V~cor hiswa out of ea fcoyt
f:tin~opA uimc .lor out of malo clorgy disdain1f of iccabo
la'y 1-'. aderch1, hr~3 Sh a-acx; id not :&.Ct >ntes,
on~ Counael frota a lcw'r Liand e1Qc hnad oP',nxtarod
in 11,25. This Ado tLhc n~prs mor roespoc2table in t hs
oyas 0f1aa and1c ca~~CLJDincidc with the publica;2tion 01 TheX
1 oridc. ;ntchuan, the oP:i~cail publication of The~n~~:t
,-sit ar.3w ;-uriLdjht bwcnxio ati.ractiva iio:6 o:2.l to oldior
vwomdn but to mon M~ rLi'I adults. OPreacny there ic,
al.s0 A jpr~ran f0ir youth. The bi-mnorthly r~1~c.o
sonvicoi~ :.inr; a vital. pr of the or~anio. on

who o2C':niziati anal structures r20 22 inforn0:!2.i ntui
>tatc tha~t it has n o paidQ onme~'ogn thn staff ofL

ilo~' c: ~ 10:3.r Sha ik~:' :Lrt Ali itur of 1~. e:atc22.,2
at reecontQ a2 AntedL diro.,ctore of '~h1on~xJLLm

is Moso am:~layed by t~h-u on~.~'Cr-c. e' noto onu

Ou ~21rd *a~v. jan 2

-- -

o ganmizationaJ- structure. Ole cloray of thwo !rojrossivO

.Bvti: rst of 21orida ar ve ry _va: incA~ in thif1 news about
Sunli~ht activities, an Troc~ressivo :Tamtist imw tinv22
and local chunrches arc p27oi-ijci~ftaly i'e'ijtiruod. inT y lorido.

lhaecs in the orSu--i3.zrtion are ProsentlY 0;.50 a nronth w,.hich
probably inaoludacs the 62 .00 a year sub scription to the
Oa:~tc~haan. At prosort the SunlighLt pays *wD to 01~60.00 doath
benefit deyenrding ona need c and.lr&:i of manborshljp.

It would. av o&r that 2pmnjurdt is a rMu~nve part of M
L'ro~rassive B5aptist St .th Conventioan, ovon thuihthe re-
lationship is not a~ formal one, nor doos the Y.21,;3io
clakn to be o21 orc)>t21- ofl that group. The oocie tica nest

-in the sows of t sochiety, as do a2:IlofC&Icncut ofi Bay-
"AsT.aotivitios T r 1\;:ionsiIpo uIr. so clos thut :it
io aLifAicuJlt to saj~rate tho~ 0 GQ J.. ns ofL the~ two0.

Since it is not ay D=Vos hse 1ro to Wonu22ivcJ.2 developc
) o-J2 tomT of 22.tu"2- W soita amo the~ Hej.rO pop-
ulati 2f a brie doscri tion of thi.- clovol "b '>w o

is par~jtinono to-theuesoca orgaizat3.&L5

wer :o.KidiJ U.7 r3) Zrno 1620 tLCLJu~j tLho Sivil na.
:oried smal ad oim lz buria&l cooiataoS existed., Thqr
Cv2C7.. low ini.tiation 20 A& fros j.0~.0 to 5.50032 0.
monhl.f.0 -1 L3;Jva.cLC benefit :re awing fro> 0,i.510
to 1 of On; -;*idaa
expenaeo~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ and c.'ra of wios-'r74S oon OW

to 100 s.Jch societies in Philadelphia in 1838. Thece
lator dissolved into secret societies. 10

10 .cnja3min 3r,'..l j, Spocic! 3q -oo- of th 2ricn
lie ;NDo, New York, ..i..2.. -". p.73 and p.241.

Burial clubs in Baltimoro, ici., Petc-sberg, Va., andm .;ar:zc
Ga. aro but three areas :.'- vely described in can Atlanta
University study published in 10907. "ro co mlot- a.coiuat
is nos'sible of theo Jegro bonofic.nt societies, UtL.ir imaor
is so l-roc, ITor can any hard and fast line botueon tlh.m
and ina:lun:piial insuranco sociotiou be draaln rave iln C:era-
borsLi and extant of business . ". 'They arc hard to
nnoDrate from secret societies sinco.many havo the sae.o
ritual, and most fratrinal societies have isranco. 1L

11 ~ W ur~li^dt1 ki(ed), Aoonoio .Jogneratj "an w. .
Io:ro : ,or z, Atlanta, ,it. an0v. U2.i vcrsi. ty ...r.c "0-,/. @ -'

Podornieor Vr.its of the devolopeiaent or E;er o i2 r-an
societies, dating from 1778 in Philadelphia and their
relationshi to racial aid and benefit societies. The
t-.,o lJ;r:est 1 ro iun-noe companies of today are also
-ratcrnal societies. Of tha insurance a-cnt Ehe w;riteo
t'at ho is "Aon- the most respootctd an c, su c -assful ...nors
a -, I Le f ?o- n
0of th T7r clae. 1c 13s,

13 ihortcnso _'o aory tor Py.d.o..!L, ; 'y 5.1 Kt
Jn *O eo ut 10 Yorw v ng '- reass, 1039 P. *l^:

Tho dcath b n fits and utual .id fu ction- of h-,roz
fraternal orErs is prosenitod wVith.data for ovor 12 Such
-rou-- by "7 5-r. o.ath benefits r;-in fro; ,,"35.00 to
,'0 ,C00 ,an cich: berfit"s fraon 0.73 to 03.00 wMchly ard
noted, vw:ith the statc:o nt thut :.ost of th, 40- or .iiatio':

paying a death benefit rLquire a nembershiL of over fivo

rs, 193. C. 373 .

D-o ana C- ati on, altio--h they do ,ot oven- mentionn these
type zociotion in their vel now study f icaizo, do
state that social clubs aro the best indicator of social
statue, a generaliation which i bht bo extendod in the
no "-ur"oa. 0 outh to inicludo -benfi :...a.t J d f:raternal
societico. 1s

15 St. Olair Drscoa and IIoroo i. OCyton, rlacm
Je-fcnorio., ro. York, I~n.rper Worchhook 19b^ (.original
p)uuii. o "n d 0o6, 1), 520.

-;ovano cakes t not too reao ;urino. con.ent about the
fat of socrot societies vorth noting Goner-ally looal,
they ro orcd ozton-iL y for benevolent pur. oe, to

d .ath. OfIton cmoeb-rs f ,l behind n1 paymeint-, loo th:cir
i'hts to nefits, anda t:he tresurieS sell. 16

1. a-urico 3, v...ns, ]Lc' So Jiute in t. JouJ;c.r.
b ;-, i. ondonJ sonn rcn -nd Lo.i o1:3- >. p. 1 s1

.orc currently, -ohn rites of the ,ooti:ctio n -for liogro
..buOinss fro..; whit_ .o.rial Soci ,, tie.O and of0 th.u. contin-uod.
c:i:tonco of payingj thei monthly .,.50 dues to the Lurial

17 -vid. ;o is -ohn -ee. I, ... ", . osto.,
i.on;.2.ton ,ifflin Co., 14 9 .5 p. ", 7 p.?.--^ D *

i'Those citations "ivo mple evidence to the existence of
a plethora of mutual societiod of a beneficent natural.
lione, however, deals with the total phenomena in any
detail sufficient for comparisons of t.:. year-ious. types
in a [ivon place at a given tiMe. 6.inquiry into the
Gainesville area nay provide suoh an opportunity even
though burial societies are .no no:-oprcAting; and Alo
urban e 'eots, combined with a higher income among tho
oouthz'rn. Eo.ro may drastically effect the kinds of
.accociations whl:icli have s-rvived acnd flourish,

.In conclusion it would se.- a ro riato to mention some
-of tho reasons for those societies and some of the docial
functions tVay c2rforma. At the outset, tho history of
lavry and tho troatront of -slav o significant.
-athod. injuring of clavos has been noted as e rly :s
1845 18 health' car. was not extensively -ractioed by

1 i:-IGrod 2. Stonc, IN LMorS45 ^Ao~f the. TA.Sal
honofit Mif6 Insunalce Cwhow srunoswidc.l, "utcors Univ-

0o:aor2s of slavos on lare p.Lintations. ,he slavoo

"1 -u. 1ene .. GCnovece, "Tho -lodical ad T 1. e .Jo0s.
of Slavoholdin"; in the Cotton Bolt" Jo urnal of ....o

fo:-od t",o'ir ow: .:utual aid as uciAtions out of noces.:ity,

loon part of the social fbric of the forcr conunal lio.
For %ore ;ocrooas able to "t insuranc, at normal razo& froimi
the establish. d it companies aerial costs ver on 10 of

0 . ..- O ....(.. '-r..\ p-,1 .-c' C,',,-, O L 0. .
tho neimary reasons K,"or .Se: -;n li" inaurance, an _to 0-"
Tide the ': c"- orvic" tho burial oociety.too:- on a v.ry
:r' ort:.t functi n.

. 17

Secrt socie ties witnesved L. A pomlarity in the last
c~nnryso iLt ie 110t rs~i> f2OI02C *1d T-.1 firs Z'-=OIIic ordor Char tea asi ar -
P:y ohatc was by the iovtioaar
1`PLz;co 11all La an4,~d. c :ieJwiLth the total ethos

e"sTh X k That they Cava stress to fnrl
is in Dart a way to fird a security at, tn's e02A %-,Lch had
bo0o21, dcjni'scl d;.:~urinr' life. W27 m ay be true today, a
i~t in~2 'I _' 2 ~t

The social %volfa-r's f-Lnitian porforned by th-3so ,c~s:~
havebee asL. or> t an their solidarity funcetion. In

thecoo eeo8Jr~c "-:)Lo co_'At/,'4t-&, 2 hige r pe:r contsag to tho
l~ow incoe Grou ~s thian any other. Th~e small, but 'sua. dc-
jont burin! benefits provided bocth business to K J~?o
f-L'Tc1a dJ *-r'-;3trO Ion 2 .. v.iCs one othfe uccassf2)10 o
buiesmn n aL s to tepublics. Cave of ;
anc r~v~tetsof sai modsccioa =J..ex2nsew also Droviae avno
to the' Dulic tax fn.:ictos, scs, a3Fuu5 tha sursh ;utOL*3i
seen. aynilu~blo to he roes In. Plaoes nor,: suh marj\72'
mavielabe, sickness~ hoineits :ost l:1,:okl,' of-ouyi snate tMe
diUfseranco between hedoCl:U1 and m~~ical aJadnn. 0322 "
present prac~tic'e of loor ope: a not so2:ingJ :ae 222y Mod1-~
.cJWj atetayion. bac one of inability to pay no Ocubt Q>.-

I-.. uo~t sijaifieMR=~ findingz of this Ytr a b~en:1 thuat
e7of c,01ngr the eyce of this writer' to the __ i for SUMi al
sceortiotv -to 'cyiow mor's abolm:; the R:o~ro P03ulatio:. cand its
5CJs :'.cra socialK ornzton.a:2::~s .:ew rite:a~rs on. th%. Q's2 it'-
POO= n, o
.2.72cCT:wr2c 2 ';ar bi-tt .U2

Logcro social organisatidns, If soc:ic:.. ists want the reopoct
due thorouZh investigators they vwill have to tear off their
blindor's and discard their vw.hito tintod glasses, and look
at the h]ogro coa mnuity 'tructuro through the oturoturoes
that exist there, in their own particular, and at times,
peculiar .,-aer. 'e havo alroay a ssuid t'.-,:.? to be certain
functions performed as basic -aocial fact. Coexistent with
the functions are th. structures. Bt we have oftltn missed
seein, thea' structures because thoy were or -nized in '
fashions distinct from those of the iLnvesti ator. With a
little mora so hi tication and Po sibly a littlo moro
effort the invisible hLearo organization can ad Will b o

AMSE:2IkLX I .,3o~r,-ecs tlhioro Inf oination on~ Reao :2 putu -1
.onicti WNW=xotLo Or 2ratornq4l Groups ~oud
Bo 2x~%dL~1,ot .9o-Lud.

st lair ]Jr jiko and 1L-r qoo h. Caytori, BMWo3 notrono1IM
14on H harper Torch)oOL, P62 oiial ulse
1945).rig2:aU~ i~h
jodp E. Fic L~itr a~nd U-a:..* -. Wadx Wliaion in Weti

MA Old an o" ini John C.and icy, V2u

J~L~Z~ '\7od)~, Zoo rrGunth in Q Itiq r and W

Ofarba and EUX21 jon. .iti~on now~c Y olk, 010y, !Oyw,
WACO Z~>:G2 .ri~2Lh 122O ab. i. 10aL~c C2 tqCO6.-

and3 o-nly IOi ~c Lui tho sdy
-nde. Wn; Rura _____-' _________
QW12p 3 IcnTURC ico~oy~~c u:a O on V~" i

___s a hoo of historic of the mi 0:0ric'r ofro t~h'

Th c vitr ha~zs qv-;iavcc! 2.3.o,2b1__ ofl ont'itt o f tho: :UoJllowinrz
journal.s seach-:cing for *Si wty os 1.'aI. 7 a'i t Coni-

----- S '10 J2D't o-jJ2.io W o Wi to dat (cthr 067.24 Ct~

Q-Ion n,,Ii No=12 botwcoen 1957 fan laU3St i312 of '9 67 xros.-t
1oW6 (nia~in &a1L; aurticlcos on th sbec. mjf
ette-2h natoa pain n
uist lc rtes uilScoy pi

N~or do bool~s on funeral CUOMOzi or cuorrnt buria ar1 fuunora.l
Or"O tied pale cdiy- notat:Lonos on -3 burial soviotioo.

iior does~ tho Now Yoric Public hili QvT colebra~tod collection
of heacrro books, dounuLnentsL G~G, Ac TheSczo
Collection, haye a~ headiing; for 13urial, i3_ria ietio
W3uin! l ibs, iou aimy partinont 021 joi o 011u ,ULL.t;'J AidcJ
:jociatics ov Lo:ovolenft Societies. However, crituicis Of
the Collectionr cannot be Eiven too mu2ch wveigh2t urdiJ. th a
collection iLtself, not moraly the ca~rd catalog;ue hiLV bec=
visied and. inspectea.

iHor do the~ few studie o v as able to find in tho ;aicul-
turo ~u.oisof Io ;x Ja. 2Lvriyjxtonoi n Sar-
v:Lcos Qe.d. any l{~h on tho subject. MKost that, do.1 with
or -niztionsi list churnh, :fax-i~ and scholo1 an do not
bot~ an awaronass00 that a hos~t of sooia2. r v ius
Y,- y oL taich arc highly stutuc anid -in-:Ee..(2.
won, linzLYsblV Jci poplt~aion. An e::c>tiori to thi.>
is A. We Clo:mi:2' srtic.lC., "cra Popula~tion of Lo;rizy

Po. 64:-3.

1lhul htile auwhr ofr lj *-IiS Storv do niot ("la-L-
it t(IIJ a :~ .u ,bi tu j inhe& -
qomant off oal -initiatw L3Konty otuicy, J.ol32. hifbll'

nin had boon~ d.0io ran the quistoZL aL37C wrilicn. TL3 mos
Ole'~or jeis fozulw ,l~- :
aneCoaa o. le Oros Gon eeij. *..

(Dait can o-il nlud that tho~Cse res poncible Oihr-cos
niot to co :c~u hiivz..OU.C.ealthZ Loif C(~:oiwas
U:. el .Ii2ee tL..i nt.;a:: 02 ths prjdat they W:oro aoiri:)

to Un.vercity of :~b ~~Unaraii-L4

LA :'D IX II A De-criptrion of Key Infornar1-

All informant ar eroes. Thoy are all either residents
of Giainesville or oala, PAlorida.
Partial Infor.e;ntfs:
A Iounder and operator of Mhaple Diurial .League
h Partner in fira which o.-oratecl Oak:s Benvolent
Burial ilub
C An officer in PAxale Protective society
D 1 ..:. religious leader from nearby co',":;.

Imp rtial infoiz .. : :-:
1 "ou0rnty social soZrice roAfessional Wor.or,
2 Licl.o aed. life long. Ga:inuovillo resident
3 A me::mber of male *Zrotoctive society
4 Anocae or f -roi .9 a epyy cou -ty
5 Ktate dono:intional employed staff'

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