Virtual Lecture: The Early History of Philadelphia’s Black Community – Apr 19

Posted by Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia on April 19, 2022

This presentation explores the history of Philadelphia’s Black community from the presence of enslaved Africans in the city in its earliest days. From its roots in the 1787 Free African Society to Emancipation, efforts of Octavius Catto, and many others in the mid-19th century, the free Black community grew into a solid and prosperous group of Philadelphia citizens that were able to create schools to raise up young people to take on the challenge to bring equal rights to Blacks across the country. In the face of continuing discrimination and outright violence, this community laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights movement in the post-Civil War era into the 20th century.

Elizabeth Browne is a historian with a concentration in early Philadelphia’s religious and social history. She has been a tour guide in the city for many years and a lecturer in recent years. She is co-author of St. Peter’s Church: Faith in Action for 250 Years (Temple Press, 2011).

This lecture is part of the Building Philadelphia Spring Speaker Series.

Date and Time: April 19, 2022, 6:00-7:30 PM



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