150 years ago, Elias Chase, the son of two indentured servants, built in Philadelphia one of the first African Methodist Episcopal Churches in the country. Descendants of Chase and other original Bethany congregants recall scenes from the church’s past, including the disappearance of the tomb of Chase’s wife, which was excavated when the road to the Northeast Airport was widened.
In 1986, a newly-formed senior center moved into the former Carnegie Public Library in Germantown. Scripted, filmed, and directed by seniors from the later-named Center in the Park, “A Gem in Germantown” is built upon the memories of residents who have used the Carnegie building throughout their entire lives.
Unlike many other African American settlements given the same name following the Civil War, Hayti, Pennsylvania and its community institutions have flourished since the 1880s. This video shows how Hayti and its Passtown Baptist Church served as an oasis for African Americans amidst the racial discrimination and violence of the past century.