Members of Zion Baptist Church at the groundbreaking for Zion Gardens Apartments in the Yorktown neighborhood, 1101 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia

July 18, 1965
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John W. Mosley Photograph Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA.

The sign in this photograph reads, “Everything is NEW in Yorktown.” Located in North Philadelphia, Yorktown was built between 1959 and 1969. The district includes two churches, Bright Hope Baptist Church and Mount Zion United Methodist Church, which were associated with and participated in the creation of the community.

As a development specifically aimed at middle-class black buyers, Yorktown provided a lifestyle and standard of living that was associated with postwar suburban neighborhoods. Discriminatory barriers prevented blacks from purchasing homes in most suburban developments of the 1950s. Yorktown enabled black families to participate in the American dream of owning a new residence in a new development designed to current standards. Reverend William H. Gray, Jr., of Bright Hope Baptist Church, had an unprecedented role in shaping Yorktown.

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We invite you to share your ideas, knowledge, and stories as they relate to the art in the Mosley Exhibition.

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  • Rev Leon Sullivan was not the pastor of Mount Zion United Methodist Church. Rev Sullivan was pastor of Zion Baptist Church located at Broad & Venango Streets.

    C Gloria Akers

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