Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
14-16 Market Street
In the early 20th century, several of Portsmouth's black social clubs met in second floor meeting rooms on the corner of Pleasant and Daniel Streets. In 1919, Our Boys Comfort Club (soon re-named the Lincoln American Community Club) offered social evenings for "colored enlisted men, Phillipinos, Porto Ricans [sic] and other darker racial groups of the service" stationed in the area, as well as "Civilian Colored people." In 1920 a fraternal lodge, the colored Knights of Pythias, also met here. Other black social groups in Portsmouth included the Colored Citizens League, which promoted unified action for civil rights. The Octagon Club was Portsmouth's black Masonic organization, affiliated with the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Boston. Such organizations were important for mutual support during the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, which was active locally, and de facto segregation, which lasted until the 1960s.
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