DAR in Norwalk Makes History with 1st African-American Regent Autier Allen-Craft

NORWALK, Conn. — Autier Allen-Craft, the first African-American member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Connecticut, was inducted last week as regent of Norwalk-Village Green Chapter, according to a statement from the group.

“There are many African-American women who are not aware that they have Patriot ancestors,” Allen-Craft said. “An estimated 5,000 black soldiers fought on the patriot side during the Revolutionary War. Their female ancestors are entitled to become members of the CTDAR. My goal is to assist African-Americans, as well as any other resident of Norwalk who believes she is a descendant, become a member.”

As the new regent, Allen-Craft said she is looking forward to growing the chapter’s membership.

“Our registrar will help compile the research material and submit the required paperwork needed to become members of the Norwalk-Village Green Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. We welcome all inquiries.”

Allen-Craft is the second African-American to become a regent in Connecticut. Also, at the 120th annual state conference in Hartford on March 23, she was elected to the position of the South Western District director for the state of Connecticut.

For the past two years, Allen-Craft has been vice regent  for the Norwalk-Village Green Chapter, working with Pat Rubino, the outgoing regent.  

The Norwalk-Village Green Chapter was organized on Dec. 16, 1892. The society is made up of women who can trace their lineage back to one or more of the Revolutionary patriots. In keeping with a focus on history, education and patriotism, the local chapter was responsible for erecting many of the historical markers and monuments commemorating the history of Norwalk.

Allen-Craft’s two children, Jaylen and Aren Craft, belong to the Captain Stephen Betts Society of the Children of the American Revolution. They are the first African-American members in the state of Connecticut.

6 thoughts on “DAR in Norwalk Makes History with 1st African-American Regent Autier Allen-Craft”

  1. Reblogged this on familytreegirldotcom and commented:
    Wonderful article. You can see the changing face of the DAR. Congrats to all of the Daughters. I am a proud daughter of the Jack Jouett Chapter. It just goes to show you somethings just take time. We are not our grandmothers chapters. If anyone has questions about becoming a member, benefits and the research feel free to ask. You can also visit the official DAR webpage at dar.org

  2. As a PROUD cousin of Autier Allen-Craft, and the first Black Regent of the Columbia Chapter DAR, our goal is consciousness raising! As I explained to my maternal Uncle (through whose family I joined DAR), if “we” only went where we were wanted historically, we couldn’t go to McDonalds!

  3. One question….WHY???? Obviously there isn’t anything in this post that would suggest a good reason to join an organization like DAR (racist hx. & ongoing exclusivity). Unfortunately, many people of color buy into the exceptional ‘negro syndrome’ and pass it on to their offspring. Society of the Children of the American Revolution…really???

    1. Amina, thank you so much for your comment – we always appreciate healthy debate at GBN. True, the history of the DAR has been exclusionary, but what surprised us about this story is that no longer appears to be the case. The fact that African Americans are now full members of that organization, and gaining leadership positions, points to progress that seems positive and worth celebrating.

      1. One of my favorite poets, Elizabeth Alexander stated that “many things are true at once” and Pearl Cleage wrote in one of her novels that..” “Discomfort is always a necessary part of enlightenment”. One of my life tenets is.. frameworks are needed for as human beings we tend to need a way to view; the problem is when they become rigid. Flexibility allows one to acknowledge when truth and facts intersect. What this organization stands for requires that I at least do more research. A cursory view of their history would suggest that the fact they are no longer overtly discriminatory; should not serve solely as a litmus test for the tenets of this organization. I appreciate your graceful reply.

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