Tulane University Exhibit Documents the History of a Local Black Fraternal Group in Louisiana

010913_prince_hall_mason_storyThe Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans is currently showing an exhibit to honor the history of the African American fraternal organization, the Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Louisiana. After the exhibit closes in March, the collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents will be housed at the Amistad Center.

One document in the collection is a handbook that stated “members must be 21 years of age, of sound mind and body, able to fulfill the financial obligations of membership, loyal citizens, and a believer in the great architect of the universe.” Included in the collection is a letter to the National Urban League from the Grand Master of the organization discussing a boycott of the public bus system in Baton Rouge, years before the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama, initiated by a defiant act of Rosa Parks.

The accompanying photographs shows a group from the Trinity Lodge 175 in West Monroe, Louisiana, circa 1950.


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