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Freemasonry and Blacks

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Chapter Summary

Race was obviously an acute problem in the United States and in Caribbean countries while in Europe itself, Freemasonry tended to be more tolerant or at least remained more indifferent. The roots of the problem are to be found in Anderson's Constitutions, although Mackey's landmarks certainly added fuel to the fire. This chapter considers only black Freemasonry in the United States and the British Caribbean. The early days of black Freemasonry in America are closely related to the general context of slavery and abolitionism. Some mystery remains concerning the origins of Prince Hall, who founded the first African American lodge in 1784. Although Freemasonry was originally imported from England, Scotland and Ireland into the British West Indies, lodges have now developed features of their own and contributed to the emergence of national identities, without severing the links with the European Grand Lodges.

Keywords: Anderson's Constitutions; black Freemasonry; British Caribbean; Prince Hall Grand Lodge; United States



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