The Black Hat Society Private Ladies Club was founded by Actress & Artist Mel Gorham in April 2015.
A Miami Native yet true to the heart New Yorker was on a quest most of her adult life searching for a private environment she could feel safe at, while growing old together with a fine group of fabulous ladies. Never finding one in Los Angeles, New York nor Miami, she decided to start her own.
Her prayers were answered when she asked 7 very special women to join her private club in August of last year. This awesome unity of strong women are now 23 and about to celebrate their one year anniversary. They are here to empower one another, share their deepest feelings in a perfectly safe environment. Owning a Black Hat is a requirement, which must be worn at the once a month meetings. The meetings are created to have fun and let go of all inhibitions, be open minded, listen and learn while fearlessly sharing purposely as the ladies are given a strong topic unknown to them until the round table meeting so their answers are truly honest and raw.
The Black Hat Society has no contracts nor monetary commitments. The idea behind Mel's creation is to bring The Black Hat Society to women in areas across the country where there are no outlets to share their inner turmoils. A simple way to create trust and support amongst a tight knit group of women and develop a circle of friends that you grow old gracefully with and undoubtedly trust in life. The Black Hat Society will live on to become "The Place" we all look forward to attending and be a proud member of regardless of what city or state it lives in.
An excerpt from a letter to The Black Hat Society of a little girl they helped in Brooklyn, NYC:
October 9, 2016
No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. -Emma Goldman
Initially, I shopped for a special card to send you, something befitting the gratitude I feel for your investment in Destiny, but when I searched the racks of cards in Brooklyn and Manhattan, I didn’t find a single card that expressed what stirs in my soul. And so, I opt instead, to write you this letter because the blank page affords me the opportunity to express what truly needs to be said.
Destiny doesn’t yet understand why you support her. Whenever your notes and gift packages arrive she literally squeals aloud. Much to my surprise, she forgoes the gifts to search for your note, because for Destiny that’s the real prize—the words of encouragement you put carefully upon the page. Then, after reading your words aloud to me, she turns her attention to whatever you’ve sent –this time a vest that she loved so much she put it on right away, and of course the glittering heart pendant necklace and earrings. What tween girl doesn’t love a gorgeous heart necklace?
She too is beginning to feel empowered. The score of 100% she received on her recent spelling test shocked her, and she came home a little dazed, and proud. “My teacher told me that the reason I did so well is because you helped me.” I told Destiny that her teacher is wrong. That the reason she earned a perfect grade is because: a) she is smart, b) she studied, and c) she is determined to do well despite the obstacles the school system constantly puts in front of her. The comment made by the teacher upset me for reasons you will find obvious—why not celebrate Destiny’s success instead of giving it away to me? Why do that to a child?
Slowly, over time, Destiny will come to understand her value in this world despite the negative messages she’s received from the school system. This will happen because of The Destiny Project, and the notes you send her, the letters she receives from her 10 year-old pen pal Iola, and because I take the time not only to tutor her, but to talk with her about life.
Yes, she know that the Black Hat Society cares too, and she understands that all of your friends are rallying behind her. Believe it or not, she treasures that plastic, black hat your group sent her.
How do I thank you for what you’ve given Destiny? I can’t. I can only assure that if more kids had a Mel they would flourish. Unfortunately, most adults don’t take the few minutes required to write a child a letter or to send them a congratulatory note when they excel. Your notes to Destiny are integral to her progress because in you she has a champion, something she’s never enjoyed in her life. Until now.
Thank you Mel. You will indeed be responsible for Destiny’s development. Yes, she lives with certain learning disabilities that will make realizing her goal of becoming a forensic scientist difficult, but not impossible, and with your encouragement and support, she will fight her way to success. I know this to be true, because when I first met Destiny, she couldn’t read a paragraph out loud, and today, she can not only read, but is managing to surpass the other students in her English class. How did that happen?
Investment. The one you made. And again, for that there are so few words that adequately express my gratitude to you.
You are indeed the fairy godmother Destiny never knew she needed, but now cherishes.