I.B.P.O.E.W.: A Good Elk Hears Sees Says Nothing Of What Transpires in an Elks Home

N.p. N.p., 1934. Vintage Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW) sign, with the traditional Benevolent Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) elk's head and "Eleven O'clock Toast" depicted, and with "Copyright by Geo. E. Jessup 1934 A.D." printed in small text above the decorative border on the lower left.

The IBPOEW., an African American fraternal order modeled after the BPOE, was established by B.F. Howard and Arthur J. Riggs in Cincinnati in 1897, after being refused admission to the BPOE because of race. Claiming descent from the Free African Society, the first formal Black society in the US, founded in Philadelphia in 1787 by Absalom Jones and Richard Adams, the IBPOEW held their first meeting on November 17, 1898. During the 1930s and 1940s, the IBPOEW became increasingly involved in labor activism for Black Americans, "resisting union exclusion, workplace segregation, and unemployment," and distinguishing themselves from other Black fraternal organizations by "cross-class alliances, male/female solidarity, racial unity, [and] a willingness to join coalitions across ideologies and to engage in multiple forms of struggle, especially militant mass mobilization," according to historian Venus Green. Today, the organization holds over a half a million members and 1500 lodges worldwide. The BPOE opened admission to African Americans and other minorities in 1972.

13.5 x 10.5 inches, black ink on gold cardstock. Very Good plus with faint creasing, and light rubbing and soiling overall.

[Book #160288]