Greenville, Mississippi Social Club

The Greenville Mississippi Club is more than just a building. It is more than just a "club". It is a haven. It is a home away from home for the many Greenvillians who live in Chicago. The clubhouse is alive with the many shared friends and experiences that the members reminisce over. The doors are always open both to those who have just arrived and those who have been in Chicago for a while. The club makes it's presence felt in the community and as far away as Greenville.

Photo of Greenville, Mississippi Social Club sign
Sign on the Front of the Social Club

  Native Greenvillians organized the Greenville Mississippi Club in 1969 as a place for migrating Greenvillians to meet and socialize. They established the club because the only time people really got together was at funerals. As a result, the club decided to become an official organization.

The club started with about sixty-two members and grew to about one hundred members. Initially, the focus for the club was strictly social. They organized it with commoradity in mind. It was a place where they could be with each other, almost
like reliving times in Greenville. When the club first started, one of its main goals was to help people in Greenville. The club held a fund raiser to replace the roof of an apartment building in Greenville. The club has also helped children in Greenville, and people in Chicago. They have raised money to fly a dying Greenvillian back home because he wanted to die at home.

The organization serves as a comfort zone for those who left


Greenville, MS Social Club in Chicago

Greenville, Mississippi Club, Chicago IL

Greenville to live in Chicago. The club provided Delta migrants a venue to interact and socialize with people who came from similar lives.

Photo of Lena Vaesser, Donald Cole, Melvin Taylor, Clyde Lee, Karla Tibbetts, Kenrick McNish, Kelly Denson, Jimmye Dunlap, and Sarah Booth

Lena Vaesser, Donald Cole, Melvin Taylor, Clyde Lee, Karla Tibbetts, Kenrick McNish, Kelly Denson, Jimmye Dunlap, Sarah Booth

  African-Americans encountered from the "old schoolers" of Chicago. When asked about discrimination from either blacks or whites in the city, Lee, one member of the Greenville club answered that Chicago was not the utopia they thought that it was. Lee said, "as Martin Luther King put it, Chicago was down North and Greenville as up South." Melvin Taylor, another member of the club, said that there are people from Greenville who refuse to join the club because they are not proud of being from Greenville. He says, "I worked in a factory and I saw a lady there. I asked her if she was from Greenville and she told me no." Taylor goes said "she said I don't tell people I'm from Greenville." Taylor argued that migrating Greenvillians did not feel Northerners appreciated them since they had come from a place like Mississippi, so they deny their home, to please everyone else.

The members of the Greenville Mississippi Club make sure that people in Greenville are taken care of, as well as people in Chicago. They help those at home whom did not migrate. When families decided to come to the North, they planned to send for the rest of their family, or assist them in any way possible as long as they had the means to do so. This is truly the meaning of family and support. Though the members we interviewed were not related, they considered themselves a family because of their close ties to home and their shared experiences. They knew that it would diffficult to survive on their own. Joining the club was not just a social outlet, but it provided comfort and support.  

Photo of Lena Vaesser, Melvin Taylor, Mary Wiley, Clyde Lee, and Jimmye Dunlap
Lena Vaesser, Melvin Taylor, Mary Wiley, Clyde Lee, Jimmye Dunlap

Return to Family Home Page

Continue to Next Page: William Lowery