A Socioeconomic Portrait Of Prince Hall Masonry In Nebraska, 1900-1920

A Socioeconomic Portrait Of Prince Hall Masonry In Nebraska, 1900-1920

14 Pages · 2013 · 1.18 MB ·

craft of stone masons), who demanded moral and ethical conduct, and who promoted "self- help" and . names-e.g., the 1920 Omaha City Directory listed nine .. cement contractor( 1) trained nurse. 2 . can Dilemma (1944; rpt.

A Socioeconomic Portrait Of Prince Hall Masonry In Nebraska, 1900-1920 free download


Univ ersity of Nebr aska Lincoln Univ ersity of Nebr aska Lincoln [email protected] ersity of Nebraska Lincoln [email protected] ersity of Nebraska Lincoln Gr eat Plains Quar terly Gr eat Plains Studies, Center for Winter 1997 A Socioeconomic P ortrait Of Prince Hall Masonr y In Nebraska, A Socioeconomic P ortrait Of Prince Hall Masonr y In Nebraska, 19001920 19001920 Dennis N Mihelich Cr eight on Univ ersity , [email protected] eightonedu F ollow this and additional works at: https:/ /digitalcommonsunledu/gr eatplainsquarterly P ar t of the Other International and Ar ea Studies Commons Mihelich, Dennis N, " A Socioeconomic Portrait Of Prince Hall Masonr y In Nebraska, 19001920" (1997) Great Plains Quar terly 1974 https:/ /digitalcommonsunledu/gr eatplainsquarterly/1974 This Ar ticle is br ought to you for fr ee and open access b y the Great Plains Studies, Center for at [email protected] ersity of Nebraska Lincoln It has been accepted for inclusion in Gr eat Plains Quarterly by an authoriz ed administr ator of [email protected] ersity of Nebraska Lincoln A SOCIOECONOMIC PORTRAIT OF PRINCE HALL MASONRY IN NEBRASKA, 1900 1920 DENNIS N MIHELICH On 6 March 1775, a British military lodge of Freemasons initiated Prince Hall (his name, not a title) and fourteen other African Ameri­ cans after the white colonial lodge at Boston had rejected their petition Independence did not alter the attitude of white American Ma­ sons; thus, a separate black Masons' organiza­ tion evolved Hall secured a charter from the "mother" grand lodge in England and reconsti­ tuted his group as the African Grand Lodge of North America Following his death in 1807 the fraternal order renamed itself in his honor Dennis N Mihelich is associate professor of history at Creighton University and the author of several articles on the Urban League and on Prince Hall Masons [GPQ 17 (Winter 1997): 35471 35 Prior to the abolition of slavery Prince Hall Masonry spread slowly among the free black population in the northern and border states The fraternity established a confederation structure in which each state could create a sovereign grand lodge After the Civil War membership mushroomed and migrating Afri­ can Americans carried the institution to the transMissouri West Prince Hall Masons af­ filiated with the Missouri Grand Lodge orga­ nized the first blue (subordinate) lodge in Nebraska at Omaha in 1875 By the end of the century blue lodges also existed in Lincoln, Hastings, Grand Island, Alliance, and Scotts­ bluff The Great Migration of World War I increased the membership significantly, mak­ ing it feasible for four Omaha lodges to join with those in the other five towns to form the independent Prince Hall Mason Grand Lodge of Nebraska in 1919 Existing scholarship argues that Masonry among blacks was a middleclass phenomenon that produced class strife in the African Ameri­ can community Unril recently in the post civil rights era, the delineation of classes within the segregated black caste in the United States has produced conflicting hierarchical schemes and 36 GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY, WINTER 1997 controversy Nonetheless, the titles of William A Muraskin's Middleclass Blacks in a White Society: Prince Hall Freemasonry in America and Loretta J Williams's Black Freemasonry and MiddleClass Realities announce their socio­ economic interpretations 1 The charter mem­ bers of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Nebraska, however, exhibited a wide range of wealth, incomes, and occupations The Ne­ braska story demonstrates the impact and the persistence of regional diversity in American history in general and in AfricanAmerican history in particular The desire for a sover­ eign grand lodge

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