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Our Story

The 100 Men Hall was founded in 1894 by 12 civic-minded African American Bay Saint Louis residents who organized under the name "Hundred Members Debating Benevolent Association" in order to "assist its members when sick, bury its dead in a respectable manner, and knit friendship."

What started as an organizing group for the African American community grew into an open-air pavilion. Then, in 1922, a cornerstone was laid and the existing Hall was built. At that time, segregation forced Black musicians into a narrow yet robust performance corridor called "the chitlin circuit," an historic network of performance spaces that eventually put the Hall on the Mississippi Blues Trail map.

The 100 Men Hall, as it came to be known, quickly became a Black energy center along the Coast, hosting music and all life events from baby showers to repasts in the African American community. Over many decades, the Hall attracted legendary musicians such as Ray Charles, James Brown, Etta James, Sam Cooke, BB King, Chuck Berry, Diamond Joe, Ernie K-Doe, Fats Domino, Lee Dorsey, James Booker, Irma Thomas, Professor Longhair and countless other Black musicians at a time when white-only clubs forbid their entry.

 

The Hall is one of the rare physical sites still standing on the Mississippi Blues Trail, and is a testament to the rich birthing of American music that unfolded during a history of racial oppression. It is one of the few significant African American landmarks in Mississippi.

Ownership

1922 - 1982 Hundred Members Debating Benevolent Association owned and operated the 100 Men Hall.

12/21/1982 Benevolent Debating Association DEEDED to Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary 50.

08/31/2004 Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary 50 DEEDED TO Diana Smith.

06/01/2006 Diana Smith DEEDED to Tommy Russell.

06/23/2006 Tommy Russell DEEDED to Jesse Loya and Kerri White.

07/27/2018 Jesse Loya and Kerri White DEEDED to Rachel Dangermond (and her son, Constantin "Tin" Dangermond, a/k/a the 101st Man)

 

Photographer: Ellis Anderson

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The Mission

The 100 Men Hall is an age-old organization that preserves culture, interprets history and gathers the community in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. Through live music events, innovative programs, and artistic expression, the 100 Men Hall seeks to make this African American landmark accessible to visitors of all ages. At the 100 Men Hall, we are committed to the preservation of the distinct culture found within the community of this geographical area. 

Work With Us

The 100 Men Hall was purchased by Rachel Dangermond and her son, Constantin "Tin" Dangermond on July 27, 2018 with the intent to operate it as a nonprofit, music venue, multipurpose hall rental, and community space.

The Hall seats 200-225 ppl with standing room for 400 ppl.

The 100 Men Hall is maintained and preserved by a 501c3 nonprofit called Hundred Members Debating Benevolent Association (established 1894).

The Board of Directors are as follows:

Albert Cooper
Ann Madden
Blake Haney
Brian Labat
Patricia Yoho
Dr. Rymsky Labat

For rental or media, please contact Rachel at 100MenHall@gmail.com and cell 415.336.9543.