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Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia is designed to be a resource for students and teachers across the nation and we are grateful to the work of our Summer Teacher Institute participants and National Teacher Advisory Group for suggesting and providing feedback on themes and activities for students based on the diverse needs of their schools, districts, states, and the field.

The suggested activities in the eight thematic units of these teacher resources are aligned to history standards from the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles, which were developed under the guidance of the National Council for History Standards. These include Historical Thinking Standards and United States History Content Standards (Grades 5-12).

Black Founders Teacher Resources National Standards

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This graphic depicts a teacher in front of a chalkboard and by clicking the image, it will take you to Teacher Resources.

Black Founders Teacher Resources

Access modular activities and ready-made worksheets to help your students dig deeper into the lives and legacies of free Black Philadelphia, Revolutionary War privateer, and successfull businessman James Forten and his descendants.
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This graphic depicts a lightbulb and, by clicking, will provide you with short essays that put the stories of Andrew, Deborah, Eve, Jack, and London into historical context.

Black Founders Big Ideas

Explore these short framing essays to discover the lives and legacies of free Black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer, successful businesman, and stalwart abolitionist James Forten and his family.
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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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