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Bicentenary of The African Meeting House

The Museum of African American History is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the African Meeting House, the oldest black church in the nation. An event last night, held at the Tremont Temple, kicked off a year long Bicentennial celebration that will honor the storied history of the building and help fund its $7 million renovation.

It was an evening that featured music, songs, and speeches, all focussed on history and preservation. The highlight came when Governor-elect Deval Patrick took the stage to a standing ovation. He recited an address originally delivered by Frederick Douglass, a foremost leader of the abolitionist movement. That 1860 speech was in response to events a week earlier when a group of so-called "Gentlemen" disrupted a gathering Douglass was leading at the Tremont Temple. The abolitionists retreated to the African Meeting House where Douglass finished his address.

We'll hear Governor-elect Patrick read an excerpt of that historic address and we'll hear his opinions on how its themes resonate today.

This program aired on December 7, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.

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