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Karla Trotman moderates a panel discussion about Black entrepreneurship in Philadelphia.

The Museum presented a special evening panel discussion on Thursday, Oct. 19, inspired by the historical legacies of Black entrepreneurship presented in the special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia. Electro Soft, Inc., CEO and owner Karla Trotman, who serves on the Museum’s Board of Directors and Black Founders Exhibition Committee, facilitated a discussion with panelists Steven Scott Bradley, Jason M. Coles, Nia Eubanks-Dixon, Chef Kurt Evans, and Derek S. Green, who explored how James Forten’s successful enterprises, philanthropic mission, and influential networks connect with Black founders of Philadelphia businesses today. Regina A. Hairston, President & CEO of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE, and Museum Curator of Exhibitions Matthew Skic gave the opening remarks.

The discussion is available to watch below.

Panelists & Remarks

Headshot of Regina Hairston who has shoulder length brown hair and is wearing a light blue gray shirt.

Regina A. Hairston (opening remarks)
President & CEO, African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE

Image 091523 Karla Trotman Headshot

Karla Trotman (moderator)
CEO & Owner of Electro Soft, Inc.

Portrait of Steven Scott Bradley in a dark suit with glasses.

Steven Scott Bradley
Principal, OneDigital
Chairman Emeritus, African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE

Portrait of Jason M Coles with glasses, a goatee, and shoulder length hair

Jason M. Coles
Founder & CEO, Katika

Portrait of Derek S Green, smiling and wearing a dark blue suit and orange striped tie.

Derek S. Green, Esq.
Of Counsel, Obermayer, Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, LLP
Special Counsel, Bellevue Strategies
Former Philadelphia City Councilmember

Portrait of Nia Eubank Dixon wearing a black tee shirt with orange font reading creative praxis.

Nia Eubanks-Dixon
Founder & Creator, Creative Praxis

Portrait of Chef Kurt Evans wearing a red bandana headband, white chef's shirt and black apron.

Kurt Evans
Chef & Activist

Promotional Partner: The African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE

  • Commemorative 30 years logo for the  African American Chamber Of Commerce of greater Philadelphia

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A father holds his child as they look at the Forten family tree in the Museum's Black Founders exhibit.
 

Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia

February 11 - November 26, 2023
Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia explored the story of James Forten and his descendants as they navigated the American Revolution and cross-racial relationships in Philadelphia to later become leaders in the abolition movement in the lead-up to the Civil War.
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Rhonda Brace (left), a descendent of Jeffrey Brace, who was enslaved during the Revolutionary era, found freedom, and wrote a memoir in 1810, which was republished in 2004 by Kari Winter (right).
 

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A screenshot of a 360-degree panoramic image from the Black Founders virtual tour.
 

Black Founders Virtual Tour

Immerse yourself in 360-degree panoramic gallery images, high-resolution photos of the artifacts and documents, a guided audio tour, and music station to explore the story of free Black Philadelphian James Forten and his descendants.
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