While The Tux Club Incorporated is not a secret organization, it is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the Hampton Roads area.
The Tux Club is an independent (501) C3 civic organization first established in 1920 in the City of Norfolk, Virginia. Originally organized strictly as a social club, by a group of Black professionals, namely (doctors, lawyers, educators, postal workers, etc.) Its members were considered to be some of the best of Black society. Their goal was to promote and hold a social function twice a year to highlight that Black society did exist and that socializing was an integral part of it. Operating strictly as a social club, its motto was "Live and Enjoy While You Can".
Although much of the club's early history remains largely undocumented relying mostly on word of mouth, anecdotal accounts, written documents and photo history. What is known however, is that its formation came against the backdrop of a racially divided city and country after World War I, and was organized during a period when integration was not even a thought.
Its founding was motivated by what they saw as a need for more social activities and outlets, where Black people could dress up and enjoy themselves in both informal and formal settings. Not having a permanent home (facility) to meet, the club usually held its meetings at various locations throughout the city. The club met only two times a year. Those meetings were in preparation to host its two member sponsored functions; a white dinner jacketed affair in June, and its signature tuxedo ball in December, an event that was extensively covered by the legendary newspaper, The Journal and Guide.
In anticipation of a large turn-out for its December tuxedo ball finding a venue large enough to host the expected participation was a challenge, and in the pre- integration era, use of "white only" hotels did not seem to be an option. However, in the early 1960's, with perseverance from a club member, the Monticello Hotel in downtown Norfolk eventually agreed to the use of its ballroom.
However, its use came with a caveat, club members and guests were only allowed to enter through the back or side entrances. Notably, a win for the club in securing a "downtown" venue, but a stark reminder of the fact that only their money was considered equal. Such were the times.
From its inception in 1920 to 1991 the Club continued to sponsor two primary affairs a year, and to support various charities within the community. In 1992 the club voted to drastically change direction and began to meet on a monthly basis. The primary catalyst for this change was the club's increasing focus on its civic and charitable responsibilities. The number of its donations, as well as the quantities given were increased.
Over the years - 1992 to the present - the Tux Club has maintained the tradition of winter and summer activities while enlarging its membership and transitioning to an even more service oriented organization. That transition now includes scholarship awards, youth mentorship, as well as other outreach programs.
Since its early beginnings, The Tux Club has continued to grow and evolved, and has adopted a new motto befitting its mission of service, "Serving our communities through scholarship, mentorship and charity".
To quote the club's preamble to its constitution and by-laws: "We the members of the Tux Club-in order to establish a fraternal bond among our members, to solicit a clean social atmosphere in the community, maintain charity for those in need, and conduct ourselves in a manner that our deeds will be an example of good clean living".
Such were the founding principles of the Tux Club when it was formed at the beginning of the 20th century. It is our sincere hope that the club will continue to remain both relevant and true to those principles well into the 21st.
Norview High School
Intended field of study is in Psychology and to work in my dream career as an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Ocean Lakes High School
Intended field of study is Biochemistry and Biotechnology.
"I plan to work in the Biotechnology Field helping to develop disease curing technology
Norview High School
Intended field of study is Communications, with focus on Journalism and Psychology. "my goal is to assist as many people I can with their psychological health."
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