hiThe T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center will reopen its doors with the long-awaited exhibit, A Love Letter to Count Basie: From The Great Migration to The Harlem Renaissance. This is the first time the Count Basie collection will be shared publicly since its 2018 acquisition by the Institute for Jazz Studies, the world’s foremost jazz research center, located on the campus of Rutgers University – Newark.
The VIP, socially distanced, opening reception will be held on the center’s front lawn. Attendees are required to wear masks and will be escorted inside the center to view the exhibit and artifacts from 6-9 pm. Morgan Stanley is the lead sponsor of this educational experience that recognizes excellence in Black history and culture.
The exhibit will open to the public on Saturday Sept. 26 with two viewing sessions from 1-3 pm and 4-6 pm. Please call ahead to register or email us at email@example.com Donation: $15 for adults $5 for children and seniors.
The T. Thomas Fortune Foundation
was established by a group of concerned citizens from New Jersey, who came together in July 2013 to save the home of T. Thomas Fortune from demolition. The Foundation serves as the nonprofit entity that oversees the public programming and operates the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center.
A Model for the Ages:
Community engagement and private enterprise unite to save and preserve one of only two National Historic Landmarks in New Jersey related to African American history.
NEW HISTORY IN FORTUNE HOUSE
T. Thomas Fortune 1856-1928
Born into slavery in 1856, T. Thomas Fortune went on to become one of the most influential American journalists and newspaper publishers of the 19th and 20th centuries.
He was a stalwart for social justice. “His pen knew but one theme, the divine right of man,” said Kelly Miller, Dean of Arts & Sciences at Howard University, upon Fortune’s passing in 1928.
Fortune christened his home in Red Bank, New Jersey, “Maple Hall,” where he and his family resided between 1901-1915. Here he entertained the great African American leader Booker T. Washington and other prominent figures of the time. The Fortune House, along with Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson are the only two National Historic Landmarks in New Jersey significant to African American heritage.
The T. Thomas Fortune House is one of the most historically significant properties in the United States. It is significant because of T. Thomas Fortune’s role in African American history.
This is what the home looked like in 1976 when it was nominated to the United States Department of Interior and National Parks Service for consideration as a National Historic Landmark, during the country’s bicentennial.
A Community Eyesore
This image to the left is of a dilapidated T. Thomas Fortune House in 2006 that had fallen from grace to disrepair. It became an eyesore on the Westside of the Red Bank Community and was in the crosshairs of being demolished in 2013. That action was stayed by the efforts of the early committee of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation.
Noble friends, associates and supporters of T. Thomas Fortune.
We are excited to announce that the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation has received its official status as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Since our inception eight years ago, our volunteer led community organization worked to save the National Historic Landmark home of T. Thomas Fortune in Red Bank, NJ. Our efforts inspired developer Roger Mumford to purchase and restore the house that the Foundation operates as a Cultural Center, upon its opening in 2019. Our nonprofit status enables us to raise funds for a range of educational programming, so please join us
by making a charitable gift today!
Please make checks payable to:
T. Thomas Fortune Foundation
Mail to: T. Thomas Fortune Foundation
P.O. Box 2248, Westside Station
Red Bank, NJ 07701
T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center
94 Drs. James Parker Blvd
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Grand Opening May 23, 2019