‘100 Black Men’ Banquet scheduled Friday in Tulsa

TULSA — An association of African American men whose mission is to improve conditions in their community have scheduled their annual banquet for Friday night (April 18) in Tulsa.

The “100 Black Men of Tulsa” and their auxiliary, “The Women With the 100,” will hold their 20th annual award and scholarship gala at the Greenwood Cultural Center, starting at 7 p.m.

The core activities of the local chapter are providing college scholarships, preventing gang violence and reducing teen pregnancy, said Rep. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa.

“We are most proud of our latest Entrepreneur Shadow Program chartered last summer,” Matthews said. That program pairs teens with business owners to learn how companies are operated, and occurs during the summer when the students are out of school and “most vulnerable to negative activity,” he said.

State Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, will be the keynote speaker. “It’s my honor to be asked to give the keynote address,” she said. “I intend to talk to them about experience, leadership and mentorship, and the importance of preserving our heritage and cultivating the future.”

The concept of the 100 began in New York in 1963, and the group eventually adopted the name “100 Black Men, Inc.,” as a sign of solidarity. They envisioned an organization that would implement programs designed to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minorities.

“They also focused their resources toward youth development,” Matthews said. “Our national motto is, ‘They will be what they can see’,” he said.

Tickets for the event cost $50 and are available at Ralph’s Menswear, 736 E. 36th St. North, in Tulsa, or by calling (918) 704-3933.