New York

The New York Carats enjoys the unique status as one of the driving forces that ultimately led to the founding of the CARATS, Inc., in 1975.  In the late 1950’s, a group of African American women seeking to triumph over the then-existing Jim Crow laws founded the PIVOTS, an organization conceived to establish a social network that would provide a platform for women to interact with other women around the United States of similar ethnicity, interest, experience and culture. During the interval between its founding, its installation as a member of the PIVOTS national organization in 1960, and the 1975 establishment of the CARATS, Inc., the New York PIVOTS officially installed other PIVOTS chapters, including the 1959 installation of a chapter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The national organization of the PIVOTS was formed in 1960; in 1962, the New York Chapter of the PIVOTS withdrew its membership; however it subsequently rejoined the national organization in 1969, under the name “New Manhattan, New York Chapter.”  From 1969 to 1975, the New York chapter was one of nine PIVOTS chapters, including Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Macon, Georgia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.  Needed reorganization of the national PIVOTS began in 1975, and in that same year the PIVOTS reemerged as the CARATS, Inc., with Amanda Webb, of the New York Chapter serving as National President.   The CARATS, Inc., was chartered with seven charter chapters: Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Macon, Georgia; Washington, D.C. and New York.

The charter members of the New York Carats were Barbara Murray Boothe; Alyce Brown; Jean Creamer; Jocelyn Hodgson, current member, honored at 2008 Conclave for being instrumental in the smooth transition from the PIVOTS to the CARATS, Inc., and mother of  Chapter President, Carla Hodgson-Anderson; Gloria House, Sergeant at Arms at the 1975 reorganization meeting, honored at 2008 Conclave for being instrumental in the smooth transition from the PIVOTS to the CARATS, Inc., and an emeritus member; Jean DePasse; Pearl Foster Hunt, National President, 1984-88; Glory Johnson; Geraldine McKee, emeritus member; Dorothy McMurren; Jasa Pennington; Queenabelle Turman, current member and former National Vice President; Gloria Toles, current member and former National Treasurer; Amanda Webb, first National President, 1975-76; and Gladys Wright, former emeritus member and recently deceased.  Current members of the New York Carats also have served as elected officers of the CARATS, Inc., including Edna Boothe, as First Vice President and National Treasurer, and who was a returning chapter president at the time of the 2008 Conclave; Renee LeGendre, Financial Secretary; and as appointed committee chairs and members.

The New York Carats hosted four conclaves:  1977, St. Regis Hotel, New York City; 1984, Vista Hotel, New York City, with luncheon at Windows of the World, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001; 1995, Marriott Wind Watch Hotel, Hauppauge, Long Island, New York; and 2008, the New York Marriott Hotel on Broadway, New York City.  Past recipients of the Community Award were the Harlem Dance Group in 1977; the Pearl Foster Hunt Scholarship Fund at Queens College in 1984 and in 1995; and KECDE! (kek-da), a children’s dance company devoted to honoring and perpetuating the legacy of the founders of African-American dance, which was founded in 1993 by Ms. Kerri Edge. The New York Carats also started a tradition of hosting a Christmas gala for family and friends; and, notwithstanding the fierce competition of other affiliations, members continue to enjoy wine tasting, theatre going, house and card parties, and traveling with each other.   How successful we have been over the years is evidenced by the increasing number of mother-daughter memberships:  Jocelyn Hodgson and Carla Hodgson-Anderson; Shirley Cole and Tracey Cole Brown; and Edna Boothe and Judy A. Peterson.  The New York Carats is proud of its emeritus members:  Gloria Albert, Winifred Grant, Gloria House, Geraldine McKee, Carole T. Phillips, Ernestine Price, Lela Richardson and Constance Walton, The New York Carats also remembers with love and respect its Forever Carats:  Barbara Murray Boothe, Jean DePasse, Thelma Freeman, Marjorie Goldson, Pearl Foster Hunt, Dorothy McMurren, Amanda Webb and Gladys Wright.