The Arch Social Club is an historically African American private Gentlemen’s Club located in Uptown Baltimore.Oldest existing club membership photograph (1923)
The Arch Social Club was casually founded in 1905 and officially incorporated on March 15, 1912. The club is very much a child of Baltimore’s brutally repressive racial environment. Black people at the dawn of the 20th century were savagely pushed to the political, social, cultural and economic margins by a combination of white folkways and state statutes. Out of necessity, African Americans sought collective survival in the construction of a parallel civil society. Schools, churches, benevolent associations, commercial enterprises, cultural venues and every conceivable social institution that addressed the exclusionary nature of the broader white society and day-to-day needs of Black folk were forged–often in the face of de jure race-driven harassment and humiliation.
Raymond A, Coates, Jeremiah S. Hill and Sam L Barney founded the Arch Social Club. It was dedicated to: [T}he social, moral and intellectual uplift of its members, and in order that charity may be practiced in a Christian-like spirit and true friendship and brotherly love be promoted and maintained. “
For over 100 years, Arch Social has been a fixture of Black Baltimore's civil society. Many scholars have asserted that Arch Social is the oldest known, continuously operating African American men's club in the United States.
We invite you to join us and support our work in promoting the best in Black men and the development of Baltimore's neighborhoods.
The Arch is an organization of men in service to their communities AND a place. The Pennsylvania Avenue clubhouse remains a down-to-earth establishment where patrons can socialize, network and feel good about themselves. At the same time, The Arch is a place where members and guests are expected to bring their best manners and best attire.
Please explore this web site. Learn more of the club's exciting history. Find activities and services that address your needs and aspirations. Contact us. Join the thousands, over 10+ decades, who have made Arch Social their home.