Other Tradition

Other Tradition

Episode 3: The Multiracial DC Women Who Created the First Integrated Baha'i Community in America

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Lex Musta tells the story of how Charlotte Emily Brittingham Dixon received a three month sanctification in Princess Anne, MD in 1896 (3:15), and went to Chicago in search of the Manifestation of God she felt certain was upon the earth (5:10), she found Him in the person of Baha'u'llah and returned to the Southern United States to establish the DC Baha'i Community in 1898 (10:35), she was soon joined by Laura Barney in 1902 who invited over the greatest Baha'i Philosopher of the time Mirza Abu'l Fad'l to write the book Baha'i Proofs and teach the young community its new Faith (16:25), Pauline Hannen consequently adopted the Faith and began to share it with DC's African American community (18:25), the well known spiritual wife of the Rev. John W. Pope, Pocahontas, whose husband comes from the richest African American family in North Carolina, became the first African American in DC to adopt the Faith in 1907 (27:30), the first of those liberated from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello concentration camp in 1865 to receive a college education and noted suffragist, Mrs. Coralie Cook, was a cousin of Pocahontas' husband, and adopted the Faith in 1910. She then taught her Employer, the most successful African American Female Entrepreneur in town and a national leader of African American music, Mrs. Harriet Gibbs Marshall. She provided her Washington Conservatory of Music at 902 T Street, NW for use as the first African American owned Baha'i Center in America (30:45). Together these women formed the first Integrated Baha'i Community in America when they all gathered in an integrated fashion for their monthly meeting at Pauline's sister Fanny's house in April of 1910.


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About this podcast

In his 1993 book Racial Unity: An Imperative for Social Progress, Dr. Richard Thomas, professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University, pioneers the race relations concept of the “other tradition,” which explains that the lasting advances in American race relations are the result of close, multiracial collaboration. Dr. Richard Thomas and Lex Musta use this podcast to further explore the other tradition to encourage our listeners to work for progress in race relations multiracially.

by Lex Musta & Dr. Richard Thomas


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