New Chapter Established in Historic Region known for Departing Slave Ships to North American Shores
As we mark of the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States in 2019, a new grand lodge was recently established in Cotonou, West Africa. Many North American slaves in the United States came from Benin.
The recently charted Benin Chapter of Free Masons was recently visited by a North Carolina chapter of Prince Hall Masons.
The establishment of the Benin Chapter of Prince Hall is significant as it home to where more than a million African, sold into slavery departed the African coast.
The inauguration of a Prince Hall Lodge in Benin, where more than a million Africans, sold into slavery, departed the African coast, made the Masons from Benin emotional at the mention of it. A sect of Freemasons born out of the type of discrimination that had never been seen in Benin, To the Beninese masons, it was like a rare moment to right the wrongs of history.
A day before the inauguration event, the black American and Beninese Prince Hall Masons took a guided tour of the Slave Route in Ouidah, a sandy, three-kilometer path of sculptures and monuments to commemorate stops along the road where enslaved people walked to the port to be taken abroad in chains.
The tour includes stops at sites like Place Chacha, where Africans were auctioned and branded with markers of sale before making the arduous walk to the ocean. At one stop, The Memorial of Remembrance, the group took a moment of silence for the enslaved people who died even before boarding the ships.
The Prince Hall Masons of Rhode Island welcomes our new Brothers from the Benin Chapter. Our door on the shores of New England is always open to you.