The trajectory of the African American Cultural Society (AACS) has been to develop programs, promoting the contributions made to world civilizations by Africans and African-Americans. It also has been to construct a building that would enhance the society’s ability to carry out its mandate.
The members soldiered on and completed their vision, punctuated by the efforts of Clarence Archibald Mauge’ and others. Mauge’ is the first president after the society incorporated as well as its only CEO.
Born Aug. 3, 1927, in Brooklyn, Mauge’ attended the City College of New York before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. In 1948, he married his sweetheart, Anna Ayala. The couple became parents of two boys and three girls.
Mauge’ entered the New York City Police Department as a patrolman, advancing to detective, then sergeant, and finally detective sergeant for a new terrorist squad. He was special investigator for the State of New York, identifying and arresting individuals smuggling drugs into the prisons.
After retiring and relocating to Florida, Mauge’ was promoted through the ranks to bureau chief of the newly created Bureau of Crime Control for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). He supervised 135 personnel for the department.
He volunteered in classrooms, helping youngsters deficient in reading and math. Mauge’ joined the society’s steering committee to construct a building to accommodate members and youngsters from the community. The committee was dissolved in 1992, and the membership voted Mauge’ to become president.
In our news review last week, an awards luncheon had been promulgated by Mauge’ after he, in 1997, was honored with an AACS award.
Mauge’ assisted the Steel Band chairman in bringing steel pans to the organization and secured training for youth and adults, the first of its kind in Flagler County.
Third Eye Program chair
He helped the Third Eye Program chairman procure grants and other funds for that program, offering students the opportunities to learn, discover and use their individual talents to better prepare vocationally, to compete for jobs, and utilize tools for college careers – and utilize computer software applications.
Members of the Cultural Committee, in conjunction with the Third Eye Program, toured festivals, like “Kuumba” and chaperoning sometimes 45 youngsters. Under Mauge’s tenure, the Cultural Committee, moreover, celebrated Juneteenth, Kwanzaa, and Ashe’ arts exhibits, while the Underground Railroad Quilters focused their activities on historical preservation through quilt-making. Black Studies, cultural tours, and other program activities, were mainstays to Mauge’s incumbency.
Mauge’, along with others, opened the doors of banks that participated in donating monies to the AACS over a period of time.
When others had awakened at 9 a.m., Mauge’ had completed nearly three-fourths of his AACS “to do list.” Mauge’, in his own right, was an author, having published a fictional saga on the post-Civil War heroics, titled “The Buffalo Soldier.”
At the outset of 1995, Mauge’ suffered heart problems and had to pass his gavel to Lionel Holder to become president.
“Mauge’ was one of those who had the vision for a cultural center,” said AACS Board Chairman Vivian Richardson.
“But he wasn’t one to offer lip service. No. He was so committed that he and others put in their time and money,” added Richardson. “Mauge’ rolled up his sleeves, drew on his management skills and, along with a dedicated group, set about the process of interfacing with Flagler County officials and prospective builders, as well as banks, in order to bring the society’s vision to fruition. Now, the African American Cultural Center and the inception of its instructional steel band are realities.”
Mauge’ passed away Oct. 18, 2012, and only five days earlier, the African American Cultural Society held a mortgage-burning party, celebrating its monumental achievement.
As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.