Masons, also known as Freemasons, are Men with a social conscience and a charitable perspective. We are a fraternal organization that shares common moral ideals and esoteric values. While we are not a religious institution we all share a belief in a Supreme Being. Our membership is based on the doctrine of “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. While Masons loyally help each other, we also take pride in assisting others. We participate in charitable activities and community service.
There are certain rules as to who can become a Mason. Everyone is welcome but not everyone is accepted. We maintain strict privacy about our practices. Members have private ways to recognize each other. It is a system of Morality veiled in allegory. A person must pass through a series of educational steps and learn our organization’s laws; they are encouraged to gain a deep understanding of themselves and their Supreme Being, no matter how they imagine him to be.
If you’ve done some research on the Internet or have watched TV shows about Masonry, you may think you know what we are about. To be honest, because of the sheer amount of misinformation on the Internet and television, or hearsay from the streets your ideas on Freemasonry are probably not entirely correct.
Our membership is private not secret. We are the oldest fraternity in the world and can trace our history to biblical times. Our membership is worldwide, our lodges are clearly visible and our deeds are publicly noted. We march in parades, dedicate buildings visit the sick and shut in and feed the less fortunate. Our members come from all walks of life such as teachers, policeman, doctors, lawyers, sailors, soldiers, janitors, shopkeepers, congressmen and presidents.
Prince Hall Freemasonry (also known as African American Freemasonry) was named after Prince Hall (c. 1735–1807). He was an African American noted as an abolitionist, for his leadership in the free black community in Boston, and as the founder of Prince Hall Freemasonry, he lobbied for education rights for black children and was active in the back-to-Africa movement. He is considered one of the most influential free black leaders in the late 1700s.
Some Famous Prince Hall Masons are Garrett A. Morgan, Sr., Robert Abbot, UN Ambassador Andrew Young, “Count” Basie, Henry Blair, Edward Bouchet, “Nat King” Cole, Ossie Davis, W.E.B. DuBois, Edward Kennedy, “Duke” Ellington, Medgar Evers, Alex Haley , Benjamin L. Hooks, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jack Johnson, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin E. Mays, Kweisi Mfume, Richard Pryor, A. Philip Randolph, Congressman Charles Rangel, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Arthur A. Schomburg, Rev. Al Sharpton, Booker T. Washington and Governor David Paterson.
The founding fathers of this great nation were Masons; Prince Hall, Ben Franklin, Benjamin Banneker, Paul Revere, John Hancock and several Presidents George Washington, James Monroe, Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Gerald Ford.
The Brotherhood is distinctive and mysterious; a bond between good men, a bond that strengthens us when we’re together and sustains us when we’re apart.