Digital Commonwealth

African Meeting House

Item Information

Title:
African Meeting House
Description:
Carmen Fields reports on the restoration of the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill. The Meeting House is the oldest African American church in the nation and it was gutted by fire in 1973. Interview with Philip Hart (Board of Directors, African Meeting House) and Ruth Batson (Director, African Meeting House). Hart talks about the significance of the Meeting House. Batson talks about plans for music, scholarly debate, and religious services at the Meeting House. Fields notes that a series of rededication programs will begin soon. Footage of construction workers and staff at the Meeting House and photographs documenting the history of African Americans in Boston. 1:00:01: Visual: Footage of woodworkers and construction workers doing restoration work at the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill. Carmen Fields reports that the African Meeting House is being restored; that the African Meeting House is the oldest African American church in the nation. V: Shots of the exterior of the Meeting House; of a commemorative stone reading, "A gift to Cato Gardner. First promoter of this building, 1806." Footage of Fields interviewing Philip Hart (Board of Directors, African Meeting House). Hart says that Frederick Douglass (abolitionist) spoke at the Meeting House; that the Meeting House was important to the Underground Railroad. Hart talks about the history of the Meeting House. Hart says that the Meeting House hosted notable figures and the average citizens. Shots black and white images of Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison (abolitionist). Fields reports that the Meeting House was gutted by fire in 1973; that a series of rededication programs begin on Sunday. V: Shots of the interior of the Meeting House with scaffolding; of white and African American workers involved in the rededication programs. Shots of Ruth Batson (Director, African Meeting House); of a black and white image of the Meeting House; of a 19th century photograph of a group of African Americans. Footage of Batson saying that she would like to have music, scholarly debate, and special religious services in the Meeting House. Batson says that the building will serve multiple purposes; that she hopes it will unite the people of Boston. Shots of photographs by Hamilton Smith, documenting the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century African American community. Fields notes that photographs by Hamilton Smith will be part of a permanent exhibit at the Meeting House. Field adds that the nineteenth-century African American community was centered on the north slope of Beacon Hill. V: Shot of a black and white photo of three African American women; of a black and white image of the Meeting House. Footage of Batson saying that the African American community began on Beacon Hill; that the African American community must celebrate their heritage. Footage of Hart saying that the building is a reminder of the role of the African American community in the history of Boston. Shots of black and white images of African Americans in the nineteenth century. Shot of the exterior of the Meeting House. Footage of Batson saying that she can hear the voices of past generations when she stands in the building.
Date:
October 9, 1987
Format:
Film/Video
Genre:
News
Location:
WGBH
Collection (local):
Ten O'Clock News
Subjects:
Church buildings
Construction workers
Buildings--Repair and reconstruction
African Americans--History
Places:
MassachusettsSuffolk (county)BostonBeacon Hill
Beacon Hill (Boston, Mass.)
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Publisher:
Ten O'Clock News