Country club says that it welcomes black members

NAACP raised concerns about Old South's makeup

April 20, 2004|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

Old South Country Club is committed to inducting more black members, club president Mark Adams has assured the Anne Arundel NAACP in response to concerns from the organization about the club's racial makeup and the roles of black employees.

"We would be extremely pleased to process 5, 10 or 20 applications from African-Americans for membership, and would do so promptly," Adams wrote in a letter dated March 22.

Adams added that the south county club, which counts three blacks among its membership of 375, has never turned down an African-American applicant or discouraged anyone from applying. He said that the club has two potential applicants who are black and that the two would be accepted if they applied.

Old South is a private golf and tennis club with a membership that includes politicians and civic leaders.

Officials with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who first wrote to the club early last month in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, said they are looking for more assurances.

"No way in your response have you shared with us any plans that you have to increase the number of African Americans at Old South Country Club," wrote Gerald G. Stansbury, the county's NAACP president, in a letter to Adams dated April 15.

Stansbury wrote that he was "delighted" to learn of the club's willingness to include black members and said he hoped Old South would develop "a proactive plan that sets goals and timetables for increasing your membership."

Stansbury also challenged members of Old South to join the NAACP to show their commitment to diversity.

Members of the country club include state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and David M. Sheehan, husband of Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens.

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