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Fundraiser to Save the Historic Dox Thrash House

Historic Sharswood was an African American hub of arts, theater, and activism that thrived from strong economic activity situated along the main corridors of Ridge and Columbia Avenue (now Cecil B. Moore Ave). This activity was supported by the influx of new residents settling in the area from Southern states during the Great Migration. Printmaker Dox Thrash and painter Henry Owassa Tanner settled in the community to live and work. Pearl Bailey, Duke Ellington, and the Nichols Brothers were among the many entertainers that played the Pearl Theater and socialized among themselves at the private Pyramid Club, founded by Thrash and others in the 1930s. During the 1950’s African American social justice movements, activists such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Cecil B Moore, and Leon Sullivan organized, marched, lived, delivered speeches, and led rallies in the fight for local injustices such as the desegregation of private school Girard College. The Sharswood neighborhood is still heavily characterized by these recent historic influences and is dotted with murals, long-term residents, and historic resources that memorialize this period.

Now, in 2020 The Thrash home is among many vacant storefronts along the commericial corridor of the historically black neighborhood. Dox Thrash, whose work honored everyday moments in African American life through printmaking became part of well-known institutional collections, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the African American Museum. This history is tied to this house in a tangible way and its development creates a new space where the community can continue his legacy.

His home is poised to become artistic and economic anchor for the Cecil B. Moore/ Ridge Ave business corridor. The project is paired with visionary, community activists and artists that support local entrepreneurship. The Dox Thrash House futures project is poised to become a public cultural amenity that invigorates the block with new activity and sets a standard for future equitable development in Sharswood.

Please visit the 'External Link' below for more information.

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