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Mother Bethel's Burial Ground- Historian Terry Buckalew

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The Gist of Freedom

The Gist of Freedom


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The Gist of Freedom, www.blackhistoryUniversity.com is pleased to present to you historian Terry Buckalew: Mother Bethel AME the oldest African American Church Est. 1786, Recently discovered it's historic Cemetery is buried Underneath the swing sets of an urban playground in Philadelphia.

Mother Bethel, via it's mutual Aid Society, The African Free Society, established several institutions in the 1700's. Unfortunately, the white establishment was threatened and sued the Church. After a 20 year court battle, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled in Bethel's favor. The Church remained self governed. 

There lies the forgotten remains of an estimated 3,000 African-Americans.
Headstone Reads..

"Amelia Brown, 181