Black History Month
Celebrate Black History Month and explore the stories of unsung Revolutionaries with the Museum this February. Through the Museum’s galleries, special exhibition, and events for all ages, experience a fuller and more inclusive history of the nation’s beginnings and discover that the Revolutionary story is for everyone.
Plan your visit or become a member today!
This Museum was created to tell a diverse, inclusive, ‘warts-and-all’ narrative of the American Revolution, so sharing the often-untold stories—especially of people of color—is a core element of what we do every day. But during Black History Month, we are shining a special spotlight on the Black men and women who played essential roles in establishing our nation.Adrienne Whaley, Director of Education & Community Engagement
Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia
The Museum's newest special exhibition is now open through November 26, 2023.
"… an essential American story"
In our newest special exhibition, the Museum introduces visitors to James Forten and his descendants as they navigated cross-racial relationships in Philadelphia during the American Revolution to become leaders in the abolition and women's suffrage movements.
Upcoming Black History Month Events
Black History Month 2023 special events have now passed. Stay tuned for 2024!
Black Voices of the Revolution Tour
Take the new highlights tour of the core galleries, available at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
New Gallery Highlights Tour
Join a Museum educator for this 60-minute tour of the core exhibit galleries highlighting a diverse set of stories, experiences, and objects related to people of African descent during the American Revolution. Along the way, you’ll see a first edition of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, learn about Elizabeth Freeman’s historic court case, consider what the engraving “No Slavery” on a Continental Army soldier’s musket meant, and discuss William Lee's role on campaign as Washington's enslaved valet. Through it all, you’ll have the opportunity to consider what words like freedom, liberty, and equality meant for different people within the Revolutionary era, and how these ideas continue to influence our lives today.
First-Person Theatrical Performances
Explore the lives and legacies of James Forten and Elizabeth Freeman during Black History Month with performances in the Museum's Alan B. Miller Theater on the second floor.
Meet James Forten
A 20-minute, first-person theatrical performance about the life of James Forten — a free Black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer, successful businessman, and stalwart abolitionist — written by local playwright Marissa Kennedy and performed by actor Nathan Alford-Tate, debuted in conjunction with the Museum's special exhibition, Liberty: Don Troiani's Paintings of the Revolutionary War.
Meet Elizabeth Freeman
A 25-minute, first-person theatrical performance about Elizabeth Freeman — a Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom from enslavement and won — will be performed by actress Katelyn E. Appiah-Kubi and was written by playwright Teresa Miller. The performance debuted in conjunction with our 2020-21 special exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807.
Dive deeper into the stories of unsung Revolutionaries at the Museum and online all month long.
The Museum’s virtual resources are always available, including the new Finding Freedom digital interactive, which examines the stories of enslaved people of African descent in Virginia who followed different paths to freedom during the Revolutionary War. These stories are also available to explore in the Museum’s galleries via a touchscreen kiosk.
"Meet Elizabeth Freeman" Performance
Watch the original first-person theatrical performance portraying the life and experiences of Elizabeth Freeman, a Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom from enslavement and won, produced in conjunction with our past special exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807. "Meet Elizabeth Freeman" stars Tiffany Bacon as Elizabeth Freeman and was written by Teresa Miller.
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807
Explore the stories of the women and people of color who first pioneered the vote in the Revolutionary era with the When Women Lost the Vote virtual exhibit, available to all online through a robust virtual experience.
Virtual Museum Tour
Explore other personal, often-unfamiliar stories of free and enslaved people of African descent during the Revolutionary era. Learn about Deborah Squash, who ran away from Mount Vernon and sought protection with the British Army; Olaudah Equiano, who purchased his own freedom and published a memoir of his experiences; and Crispus Attucks, a dockworker of African and Native descent who was killed during the Boston Massacre and is considered by many historians to be the first casualty of the American Revolution; among many others.
Ways to Save
See and do more for less with discounted ticket prices, Museum Membership, and special deals.
Online Exclusive Ticket DiscountsAvailable with online purchase only
The Museum is currently offering two ticket discounts available with online purchase only, including a Family Four-Pack (two adult GA tickets and two youth GA tickets) for $55 as well as Adult GA tickets for $21 ($24 if purchased at the Museum).
Become a MemberJoin in February to get a gift on us!
Learn more about becoming a Museum Member at the level that is perfect for you or your family to get unlimited Museum access for a full year, discounted tickets to lectures and special events, invitations to Member-exclusive events, and so much more.
Ticket Discount Offer with AAMPOffer now available!
Visitors can save up to $6 per person when they get tickets to both the Museum and the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP), with reduced parking at AAMP available upon request. Discounts can be redeemed by showing museum ticket stubs at the front desk.
From the Museum Shop
Shop these staff picks from the Museum Shop for Black History Month.
They Were Good Soldiers’: African–Americans Serving in the Continental Armyby John U. Rees
The role of Black men, most free but some enslaved, in the regiments of the Continental Army is not well known; neither is the fact that relatively large numbers served in southern regiments and that the greatest number served alongside their white comrades in integrated units. 'They Were Good Soldiers' makes extensive use of black veterans’ pension narratives tell their stories and provides insights into their lives, before, during, and after the war.
Rhode Island Regiment Figurine
This miniature figurine depicts a soldier from the Continental Army's 1st Rhode Island Regiment and is one of the soldiers painted by nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani in one of his latest works, "Brave Men as Ever Fought," commissioned by the Museum with funding provided by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail of the National Park Service.
Our Declaration : A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equalityby Danielle Allen
Our Declaration is already regarded as a seminal work that reinterprets the promise of American democracy through our founding text. Combining a personal account of teaching the Declaration of Independence with a vivid evocation of the colonial world between 1774 and 1777, Danielle Allen reveals our nation’s founding text to be an animating force that not only changed the world more than 200 years ago but also still can.