the founder: Joe L. Rempson

The Foundation reflects the lifelong desire of Joe Louis Rempson, an African American male, to contribute to the progress of his people.

Named after heavyweight champion Joe Louis, Rempson was born in a sharecropping family of eleven children in Henning, Tennessee, in 1937, during the depression and at a time, of course, when segregation was law. A family move to Buffalo, New York, in 1951, changed his fortune, giving him expanded educational and life opportunities.

Rempson graduated with a doctorate of education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and retired as Dean of Students at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. A non-practicing Interfaith Minister, he received a degree as Minister of Spiritual Counseling from The New Seminary in New York.

Rempson’s 41 years of professional experience include:  elementary and junior high school teaching, undergraduate and graduate teaching, authorship and administration of various grant programs, program evaluation, and, in addition to Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bronx Community College.  A summa cum laude Master’s degree graduate, his previous publications include:

  • The African American Male School Adaptability Crisis (AMSAC):  Its Source and Solution Planted in the African Garden of Eden
  • “Spirituality:  Your Hidden Success Center” (with Angela Anselmo)
  • “Minority Access to Higher Education in New York City”
  • “Urban Minorities:  Education of Immigrants”
  • "School-Parent Programs in Depressed Urban Neighborhoods"


The Foundation attempts to uphold the legacy of Booker T. Washington, the hero of its founder, Joe L. Rempson.


Booker T. Washington, 1908; courtesy of the Library of Congress

Rempson views Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856-1915) as the father of what he calls our Self-Responsibility Tradition, William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868-1963) as the father of what he calls our System-Responsibility Tradition.  They are the most prominent and famous symbols of each tradition, as well as its most influential representative, yet, neither was its initiator; both were the product of their time, reflecting prevalent and previous modes of thought.  In the allegory which follows, Rempson attempts to provide a perspective of the historic significance of Washington’s tradition and, therefore, the regard in which he holds it.

"Somewhat like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we African Americans began our life of freedom in our own African American Garden of Eden.  In its midst were planted trees which were good for foundation-building:  a tree of brains, a tree of property, and a tree of character.  Also in its midst was planted a tree that was good for acquiring equality:  a tree of civil rights.  From among us in the garden arose a leader, Booker Taliaferro Washington, and an aspiring leader, William Edward Burghardt DuBois.  So that we would surely prosper, Washington, a self-help apostle, commanded us to eat freely from the foundation trees, but not from the equality tree of civil rights.  Although he himself ate from it, he did so mostly secretly and seductively, fearing that, otherwise, Southern fury would provoke further turmoil and derail our progress.  While the equality tree was the most alluring among the trees, Washington felt that we were unready to eat from it, as the enchanting and blinding powers of its fruits would cause us to fix our hunger on it, and surely to suffer due to neglect of the other less attractive, but  foundation trees.  He acknowledged the value of “sane agitation and criticism,” which the civil rights tree triggered, “but not to the extent of having our race feel that we can depend upon this to cure all the evils surrounding us.”  At first, BuBois more or less echoed our great leader.  But after a time, he himself came to eat freely from the forbidden civil rights tree, and to declare that if we did not do the same, we would never prosper, it being futile for Washington to urge us to eat freely of the foundation trees but not from the most important one among them, the equality tree of civil rights.  “Mr. Washington’s programme,” BuBois proclaimed, “practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro races.”  During his lifetime, Washington was heeded, but upon his death, DuBois, a civil rights apostle, took his place in the garden, and it was his command which came to be heeded.  Years later, Martin Luther King Jr. led the successful movement to secure the civil rights so paramount to DuBois.  At the same time, as an admirer of Washington, King tried to renew the self-help legacy so paramount to Washington, shackled, he failed, and his attempt goes unrecognized.  That is the story of the origin of our continued suffering as a free people:  the fruits of the alluring, but forbidden, equality tree of civil rights, with its enchanting and blinding powers, came to be too freely eaten, leading -- as Washington warned – to the neglect, by our leaders, of the  foundation trees of brain, property, and character, the result of which is a civil-rights fixation and a failure to confront our three major demons:  IQ lag-fatherless families-crime. From that civil-rights fixation and failure, Victimology has emerged as our second bondage.  Our first bondage, slavery, bounded us physically; its replacement, Victimology, binds us psychologically.  Victimology inhibits and vitiates our manhood and, thus, produces fathers without children and family dysfunction.  As a result, many of our children grow up in unstable homes, prevented thereby from acquiring a positive core identity, which they must possess if they are to forge the sound character on which school and life success depends.  That they – and their family members – do not possess sound character lies at the root of AMSAC and its inseparable social problems.  Thus is the price we pay for our sin."   (Rempson book, p. 104-05)

The Board

Joe L. Rempson, President and Treasurer

Joseph H. Rempson, Vice President and Secretary

James Venezia, Trustee


To Be Named


Currently run by founder, Joe L. Rempson

Director, based on national search, to be appointed as warranted by growth of Foundation grants

Financial Records

Charitable Foundations are required to file annual information returns.  Click the link which follows to see Rempson Foundation New York State and federal returns by entering the registration #, 07-25-91:  If federal return is not attached to the state return, click the following link and enter Foundation EIN 300045641 to find it:



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