Early Black AA

Early Black A.A. Leaders
in Their Own Words
Early Black Groups Alcoholics Anonymous

actress playing  the

The actress who played the role of
Jimmy Miller in the San Antonio performance of
Jackie Bendzinski's play In Our Own Words.

Jimmy Miller, "the First Lady of Black AA," was the first black woman to join AA, in 1948 in South Bend, Indiana. The words she spoke on stage were taken from the transcript of Glenn Chesnut's interview with Jimmy in 1993, as taken by Jackie from Chapters 17-20 of Glenn's book, The Factory Owner & the Convict.

Glenn F. Chesnut, "Early Black A.A. Leaders," talk given at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Serenity House on 5157 Harrison St., in Gary, Indiana (a Chicago suburb).
St. Louis (the first black A.A. group formed),
Chicago (the second black A.A. group formed, linked with Gary and South Bend),
Washington D.C. (the third black A.A. group formed)

(The group formed by Dr. Jim Scott, M.D., in Washington D.C. was not the first black A.A. group, according to the most recent research, but started after both the St. Louis and Chicago groups.)
Glenn will talk mostly about the Chicago (1945) - Gary (1946) - South Bend (1948) black A.A. groups which traveled back and forth along the South Shore interurban railway and supported one another under the guidance of a series of great black spiritual leaders and inspired speakers:

Bill Williams, who was later honored by being elected as the Delegate from Area 19 (Chicago) in 1969, was part of this group.

Also Jimmy Miller, the First Lady of Black A.A. Her story was included in Jackie B's play, "In Our Own Words: Pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous," which toured in northern and southern California for over two years, and was presented to a standing-room-only audience at a huge international conference in San Antonio in 2010.

Glenn F. Chesnut, "Joe McQuany of the Joe and Charlie Tapes."
His half of the talk given by Glenn Chesnut and Jackie Bendzinski at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at the Symposium on AA History at the Sedona Mago Center in Sedona, Arizona.
Joe McQuany African-American AA leader from Little Rock, Arkansas

Joseph Daniel McQuany (1928 - 2007)

An account of Dr. Jim Scott, M.D., and the black AA group started in Washington D.C. in 1945, together with material on early black AA members in the New York City area (Greenwich Village and Harlem).
Excerpts taken from Henry L. Hudson's article, "How and Why Alcoholics Anonymous Works for Blacks," in Frances Larry Brisbane and Maxine Womble, eds., Treatment of Black Alcoholics, published as Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Vol. 2, Nos. 3/4 (Fall 1985 / Winter 1985-86 (New York: Haworth Press, 1985), pp. 11-30. The author, Henry L. Hudson, B.A., C.A.C., is Director of the Staff Counseling Unit at Montefiore Medical Center, 111 East 210 Street, Bronx, New York 10467.

African fabric, Glenn Chesnut, early black AA history