Prince Hall Freemasonry
Prince Hall, a leather worker, abolitionist, and Methodist lay minister, sought to open a Masonic lodge for Black men in America. After being rejected by Freemasonic lodges in Boston because of race, he requested a charter from the Premier Grand Lodge of England, which was granted September 29, 1784, with Hall installed as Worshipful Master. Prince Hall Freemasonry has historically advanced African American citizenship and education. Under influential figures such as Thurgood Marshall, Wiley Branton, and Amos T. Hall, Prince Hall Masons were actively involved in the African American Civil Rights Movement. Today, Prince Hall Freemasonry is the oldest African American fraternal organization, with an estimated 300,000 members in 4,500 lodges world-wide.