In the summer of 1989, some of the local ministers and community leaders approached Attorney Coleman Eaton with their concerns about the Black youth in the south metro Atlanta area. Just like these community leaders, Attorney Coleman Eaton was concerned about the lack of leadership and mentoring of our youth in the Clayton County and South Fulton County area.
He also was concerned about how our youth were being perceived.
In the fall of 1990, Attorney Coleman Eaton called a meeting with James Collier, Attorney Hillman J. Toombs, Reverend Charles W. Grant, Sherman Lemon and Randall Ponder, to discuss his concerns. Each of these men agreed that they needed to do something to help the young men in the community. The group found that throughout the metro area, there were the same concerns for our youth. The group met with Dr. Joseph Hoffman, who was then President of the Atlanta Chapter of the 10 Black Men. Dr. Hoffman was instrumental in helping to organize the South Metro Atlanta Chapter.
The young South Metro Atlanta group petitioned the National Organization of 100 Black Men of America for permission to form a chapter. Through the tireless efforts of Attorney Coleman Eaton, a charter was granted for the South Metro Atlanta Chapter, and the 100 Black Men of South Metro Atlanta was born. The founding members were Attorney Coleman Eaton, James Collier, Attorney Hillman J. Toombs, Reverend Charles W. Grant, Sherman Lemon, and Randall Ponder.
The focus of the South Metro Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men is: To provide mentoring, education, leadership training and to serve as role models. “Real Men Giving Real Time.”
The first organizing meeting was held at the Atlanta Airport Hilton. A plan was developed to provide a mentor to each of the young men who would be accepted into a program that was designed for their development into manhood. The flagship Mentoring Program included classes, other enrichment, education opportunities, and scholarships. Funds for these activities were raised through the Southern Crescent Ball. The Southern Crescent Ball is now called the Celebration of Excellence Dinner.
In 2020, the 100 Black Men of South Metro Atlanta, Incorporated will be celebrating 30 years. The chapter is excited to have reached this milestone. From 1990 until now the 100 Black Men of South Metro Atlanta, Incorporated has positively affected the youth in the Atlanta Metropolitan area. Over 1,500 mentees have graduated from the South Metro Rites of Passage Academy since its inception. As well, the chapter has had mentees go on to be awarded over $3.5 million in scholarships. The 100 Black Men of South Metro Atlanta, Inc. proudly continues to cultivate African American leaders.
Recent National Accolades (awarded by 100 Black Men of America, Inc.):
- 2016: Chapter of the Year in Education
- 2017: Chapter of the Year in Mentoring
- 2017: Mentor of the Year, Mr. Paul Vaughn
- 2018: Mentee of the Year, Jacob Pearson