Prince Hall Monument Unveiling
Prince Hall Monument Unveiling
Saturday, May 15th 10:00 a.m at the Cambridge Common rotunda
Prince Hall, a freed slave who petitioned to fight in the Revolutionary War, was an educational pioneer and the founder of “Free Black Masonry will be memorialized in a monument on the Cambridge Common designed by Ted Clausen.
Councillor E. Denise Simmons, founder and Chair of the Prince Hall Memorial Committee, is pleased to announce the ceremonial unveiling of the Prince Hall Monument to take place at 10:00 a.m, Saturday, May 15, at the Cambridge Common rotunda.
“Give the right hand of affection and fellowship to whom it justly belongs…” 1797, Prince Hall
This is a moment that has been many years in the making, starting with Councillor Simmons’s 2005 Council Order that established the committee to honor the Revolutionary War era figure. The May 15th unveiling caps off a long and hard-fought process to bring proper recognition to one of our nation’s pivotal civil rights pioneers, and it shall also be the first monument on the Cambridge Common to recognize an African-American.
Prince Hall was born into slavery circa 1735, and upon winning his freedom he sought to help create a more just society. At the start of the American Revolution, Hall petitioned to fight in Washington’s Army; later, he would found the first African-American elementary school in Cambridge, and he would help found Free Black Masonry. His contributions are such that the Cambridge City Council posthumously declared him to be one of this country’s Founding Fathers. While his contributions may be less recognized than those of Frederick Douglass or Martin Luther King, Jr., they are every bit as important to our development as a nation of conscience.
Councillor Simmons states that Prince Hall “...promoted the notion that African-Americans should enjoy participation as full and equal citizens in the newly forming United States. He advocated for the inclusion of African-Americans in the Continental Army, for an end to slavery, and for the education of Black children. He formed organizations that promoted and educated African-Americans that remain vital to this day – all at a time when it was dangerous to do so. This monument will not only commemorate his life and his commitment to the United States, but it shall also remind us of his deep commitment to forging a stronger, healthier and motivated world.”
It is only fitting that Massachusetts – one of the cornerstones in this nation’s history – should have the distinction of serving as home to this memorial. The Cambridge Common rotunda is the home to several monuments commemorating significant historical figures and events, it is the site where Prince Hall petitioned for the right to help General Washington battle for independence, and it is therefore the perfect spot to enshrine his memory. Cambridge based artist Ted Clausen has designed an elegant, powerful monument that will serve to educate and inspire, and dignitaries and civil rights activists from all corners of the globe are expected to descend upon Cambridge for this special ceremony.
For more information about the Prince Hall, please visit the website at: www.princehallmemorialorg.