Join the Museum for A Revolutionary Summer with our Black Founders exhibit, special events, and more for all ages. Plan Your Visit

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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.

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

"… 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.

Exhibit Details

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.

Finding Freedom tableau scene at the Museum depicting a British soldier of African descent trying to recruit a young boy of African descent to find freedom with the British army.

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.

Book Tickets

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 First-Person Theatrical Performance

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.

Tiffany Bacon portrays Elizabeth Freeman at the Museum of the American Revolution.

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.

Digital Resources

Dive deeper into the stories of unsung Revolutionaries at the Museum and online all month long.

The Finding Freedom interactive tells the stories of Eve, London, Deborah, Jack, and Andrew--enslaved people during the American Revolution.
Interactive Feature

Finding Freedom

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.

Explore Online
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First-Person Performance

"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.

Watch Online
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Special Exhibit

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.

Explore Online
The Deborah and London Tableau figure at the Finding Freedom interactive in the galleries.
Museum Galleries

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.

Explore Online

Ways to Save

See and do more for less with discounted ticket prices, Museum Membership, and special deals.

Two young visitors sip hot chocolate in the Museum's Cross Keys Cafe.

Online Exclusive Ticket Discounts

Available 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).

Purchase Tickets
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Become a Member

Join 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.

Learn More
African American Museum via Visit Philly M Kennedy
M. Kennedy for Visit Philly 

Ticket Discount Offer with AAMP

Offer 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.

More About AAMP

From the Museum Shop

Shop these staff picks from the Museum Shop for Black History Month.

This image depicts the book cover of They Were Good Soldiers: African Americans Serving in the Continental Army, 1775-1783 by John Rees. The title and the author’s name are written on the bottom of the image in front of a green background the tip of the book cover is a painting of five African American soldiers all in various states of firing and positioning their rifles across a field to an army of British redcoats. One African American solder is on bended knee. To the right of the soldiers is a white Army officers with his arm extended toward the British soldiers. The picture depicts the white army officer instructing the African Americans to fire toward the enemy.

They Were Good Soldiers’: African–Americans Serving in the Continental Army

by 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.

A Rhode Island Regiment soldier figurine based on Don Troiani's Brave Men as Ever Fought painting.

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.

This image depicts the book cover of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle Allen. It is a white cover with Our written in very large font in the center. The color of Our Declaration is a shade of brown. A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality is written in red underneath. Danielle’s name is written in black at the bottom of the cover. There are three lines at the top and bottom of the cover that show the signers’ names in blue.

Our Declaration : A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

by 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.