The 20th Century Onyx Club Inc.
The 20th Century Onyx Club Ball celebrating young ladies of African American decent in Ventura County for 56 

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The 20th Century Onyx Club, Inc. ®   

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​Correspondence can be submitted to:

​The 20th Century Onyx Club
P.O. Box 933
Oxnard, CA 93032
​805 488 8290
Email: larita5@msn.com

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The 20th Century Onyx Club History

                                            The 20th Century Onyx Club, Inc., is a non- profit orginzation for women of African American decent in 
                                               Ventura County.  The organization was founded in 1961 by Mrs. Ruth Gibson of Ventura,  California.  
                                               It is a civic and social organization whose membership is  comprised of Women in the Ventura  County 
                                               area.  

                                              The 20th Century Onyx Club sponsors an annual debutante ball, a 
                                              cotillion, young ladies of African-American heritage are formally 
                                              presented to society.  The 20th Century Onyx Club mission and goals 
                                              is to empower and enrich young women with leadership and etiquette 
                                              training, opportunities for community service, and expose them to cultural
                                              arts and workshops designed to assist them in career choices to become 
                                              productive members of the African- American community and society.   


Young women usually selected are recognized and exhibit high scholastic achievement.  
Participants are actively involved at their school and in the community; and are poised and
 well rounded. All Debutantes, at the time of their presentation, are either high school juniors, 
seniors or freshmen in college.    

In 1963, the 20th Century Onyx Club hosted their first Debutante Ball.  They introduced eight
girls to the community who have since made signficant contributions to the progress of our 
flourishing society.  Tihe first debutante court consisted of 12 young women.  Ms. Daisy Tatum
 was selected the first debutante queen and Ms. Edie Koontz - Ballard a debutante  was the first
 scholarship recipetant.  Now 50 years later the 20th Century Onyx club has assisted in grooming 
approximately 300 young ladies.  These women have become doctors, principals, attorneys, 
and other other highly respected professions.                                        

In 2009, the 20th Century Onyx Club debutante court was featured in a film documentary
 "The girls in the white dresses".  The documentary is about African-American debutantes 
 in Southern California.  The film highlighted the history of the debutantes, their positive
 impact in the community, and how the participants were changed by their experience. 

In 2015 the 20th Century Onyx Club, Inc. is celebrating serving our youth and community for 52 years.  



2009 Film "The girls in the white dresses"
2009 Debutante Court Lto R Ashley N. Criag, Ka'sha M. Crawford.  Middle Center Briana M. White.  Back row L to R Stevani J. Ingram, Katherine L. Valdivieso and Stephnie D. Murray 
Founder Ruth Gibson
1964 debutantes : Twentieth Century Onyx Club, Oxnard ; first row L to R: Vickey Banks, Betty Marie Decquir ; second row L to R: Gwendolyn Jean Tatum, Claudette Marie Lyghts, Donna Jo Cottry ; third row L to R: Mildred Virginia White, Deidre Gail Wilkes, and Martha Velverlee Cameron ; also introduced was Patricia Ann Hudson.
Members of Twentieth Century Onyx Club at the first Cotton Ball : 1964 ; the Cotton Ball was for young ladies in the 9th and 10th grades ; L to R: Mary Jordan, Mildred Morrison, Marguerite Milton, Margaret Tatum, Olga Camper, Lona Fountain, Elsie Kelley, Geraldine Mantooth, Gwendolyn E. Hunt, Thelma Calhoun, Ruth Gibson, Mattie Adams and Martha White.
Ms. Elsie Maxine Kelley