KENDRICK HENRY 0

U.S. Postage Stamp Honoring Prince Hall

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Before Frederick Douglass advocated for the freedom of African Americans, there was Prince Hall. Before the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and A. Philip Randolph advocated for civil rights of black people, there was Prince Hall. Before Thurgood Marshall of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the NAACP Defense Fund worked tirelessly to put an end to the "separate but equal" doctrine, there was Prince Hall.

Prince Hall led a lifelong campaign for the abolition of slavery during the revolutionary war and championed civil rights in other areas. He aggressively petitioned for the provision of free schools for blacks, state funding for the emigration to Africa and restrictions on slave trading and kidnapping in Massachusetts.

In 1776 Prince Hall founded and organized African Lodge of the Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the world's first lodge of Black Freemasons and the first society in American history truly devoted to social, political and economic improvements. In honor of his many humanitarian contributions, the Masonic Order that he founded was named after him.

Today, over five thousand Lodges and forty seven Grand Lodges trace their history, lineage and name to the originally chartered Prince Hall Lodge, African Lodge #459. Today these African-American Masonic groups remain dedicated to improving and aiding their community, society and mankind as a whole.

We appreciate the United States Postal Service's efforts to recognize diverse individuals who contributed to the history and the success of our country. We believe that Prince Hall is a shining example of not only African American, but many men in general who contributed to the early history of the United States of America. Additionally, we believe that it would be more than fitting to recognize his contributions and sacrifices today, as they were not recognized in his own lifetime, with a stamp honoring him.

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