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Negro YMCA

Today when we think about the YMCA we think about the gym and somewhere we can play or hangout during the summer. For African Americans who lived in New Haven in the 1800s it was much more important. The YMCA was a place for young African American males who needed a place to gather together, discuss, and enjoy their time, without being discriminated against by others.

The Negro YMCA, as it was called, originally began as a religious discussion group, and later became the Olympian Athletic Club in 1892. It occupied the Goffe Street School building after the school closed.

In 1895 the Negro YMCA affiliated with the YMCA and became a branch of the central New Haven “Y,” but withdrew for several years when Black people were prohibited from using the pool and gymnasium of the newly built facility downtown.

Dr. Porter was a member of the Black YMCA Branch, and when African Americans were denied membership by the Central YMCA, Dr. Porter and other members of the Black YMCA wrote an open letter published in the New Haven Register in February 1906, which stated: “We cannot, as self respecting Colored men, subscribe to any such policy.”

A Peoples' History of Dixwell
  1. Dixwell Tour Intro
  2. Hillhouse High School
  3. Directions to Monterey Jazz Club
  4. Monterey Jazz Club
  5. Directions to Hannah Gray Home
  6. Hannah Gray Home
  7. Directions to John Daniels Place
  8. John Daniels Place
  9. Directions to Goffe Street School
  10. Goffe Street School
  11. Directions to Negro YMCA
  12. Negro YMCA
  13. Directions to Masonic Temple
  14. Masonic Temple
  15. Directions to Q House
  16. Q House
  17. Directions to Bristol Street
  18. Bristol Street
  19. Directions to Grove Street Cemetery
  20. Grove Street Cemetery
  21. Directions to Attempt to Make an HBCU in New Haven
  22. Attempt to Create HBCU in New Haven
  23. Directions to Yale Law School
  24. Jane Matilda Bolin and Pauli Murray
  25. Directions to Grace Hopper College
  26. College Renamed
  27. Directions Back to Hillhouse High School
  28. End of Dixwell Tour