- American West Indian Ladies Aid Society
- Call number
- Sc MG 498
- Physical description
- 1.4 linear feet (1 archival box, 1 flat box)
- Preferred Citation
- American West Indian Ladies Aid Society records, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Restricted access.
The American West Indian Ladies Aid Society (AWILAS) Collection contains documentation and correspondence from 1915 to 1965 (bulk dates 1924-1939). The collection is fragmentary in content making it difficult to determine the actual transition of officers and other organizational activities, the exception being sick and death claim requests and payments. There are also some financial and medical records and related correspondence, minutes, a few membership applications, and a folder of printed material, consisting of tickets, raffles, flyers, programs, invitations to events hosted by different organizations, Communist Party literature, bulletins, commercial solicitations and political literature.
The American West Indian Ladies Aid Society, Inc. (AWILAS), a benevolent society, was founded in 1915 by Virgin Island immigrant women in the United States for the purpose of fostering "love, fraternity and benevolence "among all women of the Virgin Islands." All female Virgin Islanders were eligible for membership.
In addition to providing burial and medical funds to their members, AWILAS also gave assistance in other area's such as education, as a means of uplifting the "Negro culture" to a higher standard. According to a resolution in their by-laws, an ultimate goal was to join forces with other Virgin Island societies and collectively put monies into a sinking fund to buy land or property.
Following the recorded minutes of April 28th, 1936, AWILAS appears to have merged with The Sons and Daughters of Florida Club, a benevolent society which was founded in 1932.
Source of acquisitionGift, Nov. 1993
- Blacks -- New York (State) -- New York
- Charitable uses, trusts, and foundations
- Communism -- United States
- Fraternal organizations -- New York (State) -- New York
- Immigrants -- United States -- Social conditions
- Minorities -- United States -- Political activity
- West Indians -- New York (State) -- New York
- Women -- New York -- Societies and clubs
- Women in charitable work -- New York (State) -- New York
- Women, Black -- New York (State) -- Societies and clubs
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801