Today, the Prince Hall Fraternity has over 4,500 lodges all around the world and has hundreds of thousands of members.
It was Prince Hall Masonry that opened the doors to Freemasonry for African Americans, even though it was not an easy task.
Following is a brief history of Prince Hall Masonry and more about African American Masonry and its infamous founder.
Who Was Prince Hall?
Even though it is not quite clear where he was born, Prince Hall lived in America and was part of the “free blacks” which basically means that he was not a slave and was born a free man.
He always had great aspirations for black people in society and shared some of Freemasonry’s ideals even before he became a Mason; He believed in equality and freedom, which were values many African Americans wanted and what Freemasonry offered.
Hall wanted to obtain citizenship for black people and dreamed of black and white men being equal in front of the law. He was not only opposed to racial discrimination but he was also against class discrimination and fought for his ideals.
In 1796, for example, he built schools for black teenagers to give them the opportunity to educate themselves and take a step higher in society.
Prince Hall As A Freemason
Sharing many Freemasonic values, Hall sought admittance to the Craft in Boston St John’s Lodge together with another fourteen African American men. However, they were not allowed to become part of Freemasonry since at the time African Americans were not really allowed to enter the Craft.
However, Prince Hall and the other fourteen men did not give up there, and they were finally admitted to the Grand Lodge of Ireland where they were initiated in 1775.
While this was already a step forward, the struggle for African American Freemasons did not end there.
Until 1784 they had very limited privileges and were not allowed to do everything the other Freemasons did. While they were allowed to meet as an African American Lodge they were not very much accepted outside of their own lodge.
On the 2nd March 1784 Prince Hall finally put an end to this by petitioning for a warrant to the Grand Lodge of England.
He succeeded and thus founded the first African American Lodge and allowed people of color to become part of the Fraternity.
Until today, the warrant granted to Hall is the most precious document owned by the Prince Hall Masonic Fraternity as it marks the birth of African American Masonry in the world!
All this is owed to Prince Hall, and his successes as a Freemason do not end there. In 1791, Hall was appointed Provincial Grand Master, and at the same time he was the first Grand Master for the Prince Hall Fraternity, an office he kept until his death in 1807.
Prince Hall Masonry Today
Today, Prince Hall Masonry has more than 300,000 members, with lodges from the United States, to Canada to Liberia.
Prince Hall is very often referred to as the father of black Masons in the United States as it is thanks to him that black Freemasons started being recognized and accepted as members of the fraternity. Bearing his name; the Prince Hall Fraternity will make sure this great man is never forgotten.
Are you a Prince Hall Mason? Please drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts about Prince Hall. I would love to hear all of your replies.
For a more detailed history of Prince Hall Masonry check out the interesting video below!
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this article enjoyable. If so it would mean a lot of you could share this with other brethren.
Till next time….