Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jacqueline A. Rouse, Ph.D.


The dissertation examines African American Freemasons throughout the South during the Jim Crow era. The secret nature of Prince Hall Affiliated Freemasonry (PHA) has hidden the contribution and activism of the organization and its members. I argue the organization is part of a web of networks that fought for civil and human rights for African Americans. Through PHA, members are cultivated into leaders, activists, businessmen; over the years, the members have created an initiatic identity that connected them to the African American community and humanity. The significance of my study is that I analyze PHA through a womanist lens and argue the organization has a diarchal gender relationship that allows women and men to take on leadership and activist roles that differed from the normative gender relationship of their time.


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