The Girl Friends, Inc., if not the oldest, is one of the oldest social organizations of African American women in the United States. It was founded in New York City in 1927 by Eunice Shreeves, a student at Cheyney Normal School for Teachers. It was her idea to “stay in touch” with her close friends while away in college and entering adulthood. She invited four friends to her house to share a “pot of stew”: Lillie Mae Riddick, also a student at Cheyney; Henri and Elnorist Younge, sisters and students at Howard University; and Thelma Whittaker, a student at New York’s Wadleigh High School.
Lillie suggested that they call the group, The Girl Friends, taking the name from a popular song of the era. They selected club colors of apple green and emerald green and the yellow tea rose as the club flower.
Over the years the chain of friendship spread to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, New Jersey and New Haven. The first Conclave was held in 1933 in New York City with 28 members in attendance. The organization was incorporated in 1938 under the legal guidance of Baltimore Boy Friend, Thurgood Marshall.
Today there are 48 Girl Friend chapters across the country with 1,800+ members.