Black History

There’s a figure in African American history that we don’t hear about very much-- during Black History month, or any other time of the year-- who has had a major impact on thousands and thousands of African Americans across the country- Prince Hall. He’s known as the father of Black Masonry in the United States. We've heard a lot about the Masons, and the philanthropic works and perceived mystery surrounding that organization, but there’s another group of Masons who formed around the time of the American Revolution, and have maintained a separate, parallel organization through the many years of segregation in America. Prince Hall Masons, as they are known today, still thrive throughout the U.S., boasting numbers of about 10,000 members across North Carolina alone. We'll talk about Prince Hall the person, the origin of Prince Hall Masons, and why the two Masonic groups -- both proud of their own group's heritage -- still continue mostly as separate organizations.

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is perhaps America’s most prominent black history scholar. In the last decade, his genealogical research has been the subject of several PBS specials.