In 1963 a group of African-American men met in New York City with the purpose of organizing a creditable team of concerned black men who would work together toward dispelling the negative image and improve the quality and expectations of life for African-American males and other minorities in their community.Their influence in community affairs grew rapidly. In 1964, during the aftermath of a weekend of altercations in Harlem between the New York Police Department and its enraged Black constituency, the Police Commissioner called upon them for assistance in easing the tensions and instituting a dialogue between the police department and the community. The New York Post described the persons attending this meeting on July 21, 1964 as a “Negro group called 100 Men – a civic unit that includes some of the most enlightened spirits in the city’s Negro community.”
The 100 Men became actively involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and as their involvement grew, their positive reputation and membership swelled and solidified.
Also in 1964, Borough President David Dinkins, who later became mayor of New York City, recommended that the organization be renamed. The name “100 Black Men” was proposed and unanimously adopted.
Founders William Hayling, M.D. and Attorney Oliver Lofton formed the second chapter of 100 Black Men in Newark, New Jersey in 1976.
As the reputation of 100 Black Men grew, so did new chapters. In 1984 delegates from the New Jersey, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles chapters met in Las Vegas, Nevada to plan the formation of a national organization. 100 Black Men of America with William Hayling as its first president resulted from that meeting. Subsequently, in 1986, the organization was incorporated in New Jersey. The founding chapter, 100 Black Men of New York, opted not to become a member of the national organization at that time.
The Sacramento chapter of 100 Black Men was established in April 1988. Ernest J. Jackson, founding president, convened a group of 18 men to discuss the problems and expectations of African-Americans in our community and the need for involvement of concerned black men. The chapter grew rapidly and a membership of 42 charter members was introduced to the public on December 24, 1988.
100 Black Men of Sacramento joined the national organization in 1990. Sacramento’s inclusion in the national body swelled its ranks to 15 chapters. Today the organization continues to grow with 110 chapters in the United States, England, Africa, and the Caribbean. There are, presently, 8 chapters in the state of California. They are Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Jose, Orange County, San Diego, Monterey, and Long Beach.
With a mission to improve the quality of life and enhance the educational opportunities for African-Americans, members of the 100 serve as a strong force for overcoming the cultural and financial obstacles that have limited the achievements of African-American youth, particularly young African-American males. The organization has made outstanding progress, proving that Blacks can, and do, excel in corporate and community leadership.