Sons of Haiti
The organization has sub-chapters in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Washington. The group also claim jurisdiction over the King James Grand Lodge of Oregon AF&AM.
African American Freemasonry originated in the early nineteenth century, at a time when it was extremely rare for African-Americans to be admitted into mainstream (predominantly white) Masonic Lodges in the United States (a state of affairs that only began to change in the late twentieth century). African-American Freemasonry has been somewhat chaotic, prone to disharmony and schisms. Today, it is common for multiple, rival, African-American Grand Lodges to exist in the same State, each declaring the others illegitimate and irregular.
The Sons of Haiti were formally founded in 1962 after a preceding period when the organization was involved with lawsuits against other African American Masonic organizations[which?] in Washington. Following its founding, the organization was recognized by the Grand Lodges of Haiti, The Grande Loge de France, and a Mexican Grand Lodge.[which?] Prince Hall Freemasonry's Phylaxis Society describes the Sons of Haiti as "bogus" for not having descended from African Lodge Number 459 or the United Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, or Scotland. Sons of Haiti are not considered a legitimate body of Freemasonry by any regular Masonic body.
Before moving to Renton, the Supreme Council operated out of Washington Hall in Seattle, which they purchased in 1973. They rented the auditorium to various community groups, which used the rented space for concerts and other public gatherings. The building was sold in 2009 to Historic Seattle for $1.5 million.
Community involvement and charity
Charitable entities associated with Sons of Haiti include:
- Sons of Haiti Manor Housing Association, 153 14th Ave, Seattle, Washington, founded in 1995, a registered nonprofit
- Sons of Haiti Senior Housing Association, same address and founding date, also a registered nonprofit
- Nancy Bartley (2008). "Washington Hall, where Fats Domino and other black performers played, is for sale". Seattle Times.
- George Waters (July 20, 2007). "Supreme Conseil of Haiti of the United States: About Us / The Most Worshipful Sons of Haiti". Sons of Haiti. (35 page pamphlet accessible 10/2010 via button "The Most Worshipful Sons of Haiti", author and date at end)
- Paul M. Bessel. "Masonic information: All Masonic Grand Lodges in the United States". Bessel.
- "City of Renton 2010 City Council Meeting Highlights, August". City of Renton, Washington.
- "Historic Seattle projects: Washington Hall". Historic Seattle.
- "Supreme Conseil of Haiti of the United States". Sons of Haiti.
- "24th Annual "Keep Alive the Dream" tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr" (PDF). World Arts Foundation, Inc.
- Sons of Haiti Manor Housing Association, at GuideStar
- Sons of Haiti Senior Housing Association, at Guidestar
- Peter P. Hinks and Stephen Kantrowitz (eds.), All Men Free and Brethren: Essays on the History of African American Freemasonry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013.