The first in the Freedom Forum’s series, Religious Resolve: Stories from Our Past, for Our Future, highlights the outspoken courage of Revs. Richard Allen and Absalom Jones in Philadelphia in the 1790s. Rev. Allen and Rev. Jones were African American religious leaders in the city with the largest free Black population in the new republic at that time. When Philadelphia was hit by a deadly yellow fever epidemic, Allen and Jones recruited African Americans who voluntarily went to homes and neighborhoods to tend the sick and dying. Faced with inaccurate and racist accusations from white leaders, Allen and Jones wrote a forceful defense. Their pamphlet, “A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People During the Awful Calamity in Philadelphia, in the Year 1793: And a Refutation of Some Censures Thrown Upon Them in Some Late Publications,” was the first pamphlet written by African Americans to be granted a U.S. government patent.
Hear their story presented by:
Kimberly Young, citizen researcher and lay leader at the historic Roberts United Methodist Church, Alexandria, Va.
Reflections will be provided by:
The Rev. Lauren Harris, itinerant elder, African Methodist Episcopal Church, serving in Maryland
The program will be moderated by:
Rabbi David Spinrad, Beth El Hebrew Congregation, and co-chair Alexandria, Va. Equal Justice Initiative Community Remembrance Project