Hundreds gathered to save True Friends Hall

Allison B. Hudson
Kathe Hambrick-Jackson of the River Road African American Museum explains the history of True Friends Hall on last Saturday.
Photo by Allison B. Hudson

On Saturday, October 2, hundreds gathered to listen to music, eat great food, and learn history of a few historic buildings in Donaldsonville. Also, those who gathered were able to buy a brick to support the African American Museum.

Kathe Hambrick-Jackson, Director of the museum, explained history to a few in passing with models displayed on the tables. One model was the former home of Norma Cantrell Chan Hawkins who was a schoolteacher who taught at St. Augustine School and the Bertrandville Colored School. The house sits on Lessard Street.

Hambrick-Jackson also gave historical points on True Friends Hall. She explained that aside from a meeting and dancing place, the Hall was a place to visit for many students who attended St. Catherine School next door.

True Friends Mutual Benevolent Association was organized in February of 1880. Its membership was composed of leading black men in the Donaldsonville community. The main purpose was to care for members and their families when sick and attend to their burial needs after death. In Sept. 1916, True Friends Hall was sold to Dr. John H. Lowery for $450. He then resold the Hall in August of 1919 for the same amount.

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