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Black Founders

Black Founders National Standards Alignment

Black Founders modular activities have been designed in alignment with history standards from the National Center for History in the Schools.
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Black Founders

Unit 1: Young James Forten's World

This unit explores the early life of James Forten by describing what life was like in Philadelphia during the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.
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Black Founders

Unit 2: Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War

The purpose of this unit is to help students learn more about the role of people of African descent during the Revolutionary War.
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Black Founders

Unit 3: African American Freedom and Community, 1780-1813

This unit explores the various ways that people of African descent pushed to end slavery and demand equal rights in the years following the Revolutionary War.
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Black Founders

Unit 4: James Forten and Entrepreneurs of African Descent

The purpose of this unit is to have students consider the importance of businessmen and women of African descent during the decades after the Revolutionary War.
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Black Founders

Unit 5: The Forten Family: Abolitionists and Reformers

The purpose of this unit is to explore the issues that James Forten and his family were passionate about and what they did to advance those causes.
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Black Founders

Unit 6: Elder James Forten's World

The purpose of this unit is for students to explore how and why communities change as well as consider how individuals can make positive changes within their communities.
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Black Founders

Unit 7: Continuing the Forten Family Legacy

The purpose of this unit is for students to explore the legacy of James Forten and his family, from his death in 1842 to today.
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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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Black Founders

Black Founders Glossary

This glossary provides definitions that may be useful as you explore the Black Founders: The Fortens of Philadelphia teacher resources, big ideas, and primary sources.
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A father holds his child as they look at the Forten family tree in the Museum's Black Founders exhibit.
 
Exhibits

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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