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The history of black Freemasonry from Boston and Philadelphia in the late 1700s through the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement * Examines the letters of Prince Hall, legendary founder of the first black lodge* Reveals how many of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century were also Masons, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Nat King Cole* Explores the origins of the Civil Rights Movement within black Freemasonry and the roles played by Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du BoisWhen the first Masonic lodges opened in Paris in the early 18th century their membership included traders, merchants, musketeers, clergymen, and women--both white and black. This was not the case in the United States where black Freemasons were not eligible for membership in existing lodges.



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