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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

Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington's Tent

The Museum's newest special exhibition is now open!

A stereograph of Selina Gray with her two daughters on view in the Witness to Revolution Exhibit

"... the crown jewel in the collection [...] oh, the stories it could tell."

Our newest special exhibition, Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington’s Tent greatly expands the story told in the Museum’s award-winning film and brings to life the stories of individuals from all walks of life who saved George Washington’s tent from being lost over the generations and who ultimately fashioned this relic into a symbol of the fragile American republic. It brings together, in many cases for the first time, inspiring works of art, rare documents, and significant historical objects from public and private collections across the United States. Throughout the exhibition, learn the diverse stories of the people of African descent who played critical roles in the tent's journey, including William Lee, Margaret Thomas, Hannah Archer Till, and Selina Gray (pictured).

Info & Tickets

Upcoming Black History Month Events

Join us for Black History Month events happening at the Museum in February 2024!

On the left, a Museum educator wears a half-length women's apron. On the right, a Museum educator wears a full-length men's apron.
Feb 07
 

Artisan Workshop: Make an Apron

February 7, 21, & 28, 2024, (three weeks) from 7-8:30 p.m.
Learn how to make your own hand-sewn men's or women's apron during a virtual, three-night workshop in February as part of the Museum's Artisan Workshop Series.
Go to Event
Lonnie Moore introduces the 2023 Lonae Moore Forum at the Museum in Liberty Hall.
Feb 10
 

Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust's 2024 Lonaé A. Moore Forum

February 10, 2024 from 1-3:30 p.m.
In partnership with the Museum, the Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust will present the seventh annual Lonaé A. Moore Forum, “It Begins with Each of Us: Fostering Racial Understanding."
Go to Event
Image 102020 George Washington War Tent Press 039 Theater Web
Feb 17
 

Presidents Day Weekend 2024: Witness to Revolution Exhibit Opening

February 17-19, 2024
Join us at the Museum over Presidents Day weekend for the opening of our newest special exhibition, Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington's Tent, as well as family-friendly crafts, activities, and more.
Go to Event

Black Voices of the Revolution Tour

Explore stories of people of African descent during the Revolutionary era on a 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.

Gallery Highlights Tour

Join a Museum educator on Saturdays and Sundays 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

Daily Programs

These daily talks are included in regular Museum admission to explore the stories and lives of people of African descent in the Revolutionary era.

This small charm includes an Arabic phrase that translates to "No God but Allah"
on loan from Juniata College 

In-Gallery Talk: Muslim Amulet

Join a Museum educator to learn about this tiny charm or amulet that includes the Arabic phrase "No God but Allah" and is on loan from Juniata College. The small medal may have belonged to an enslaved person of African descent and may have come to America through trade with Muslim communities in Africa or Asia.

A partial brick structure and outlines of two windows and a door at the site where the President's House once stood on Market Street in Philadelphia.
 

Discovery Cart: Ona Judge

Join a Museum educator at a hands-on discovery cart to explore the story of Ona Judge through replica handling objects. Judge, who was enslaved by George and Martha Washington, escaped from the President’s House – located just a few blocks from the site of the Museum – while the Washingtons lived in Philadelphia.

A Museum educator shows a group of school students a replica naval flag.
 

Unpack a Sea Chest

All hands on deck on the Museum’s replica sloop! Join a Museum educator to learn about what life was like at sea during the Revolutionary War, the difference between the Continental Navy and privateers, and who served aboard these ships, including free Black Philadelphian James Forten, who served as a privateer.

First-Person Theatrical Performances

Explore the lives and legacies of James Forten and Elizabeth Freeman during Black History Month with performances onsite in the Museum's Alan B. Miller Theater on the second floor or online.

Katelyn Appiah-Kubi portrays Elizabeth Freeman wearing a blue dress with white apron and hat.
 

Meet Elizabeth Freeman

Onsite Performances: Feb. 3 & 10 at 1:15 & 3:15 p.m.

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.

Meet James Forten Performance  Credit Moar
 

Meet Young James Forten

Meet a young Forten as he learns the sailmaking trade alongside his father and encounters people in his community who help him decide to serve as a privateer during the Revolutionary War. After a successful first tour as a privateer capturing British merchant ships, Forten is captured by the British and serves time on the prison ship, Jersey in 1781, anchored two miles off Brooklyn. The 20-minute performance of Meet Young James Forten stars Nathan Alford-Tate and was written by Marissa Kennedy.

Watch Online

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
Image Wwltv Elizabethfreemanvideopreview 1042bsa07282
 
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
A screenshot of a 360-degree panoramic image from the Black Founders virtual tour.
 
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.
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 $22 ($24 if purchased at the Museum).

Purchase Tickets
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Become a Member

Join this February!

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.

A Gentleman of Color by Julie Winch
 

Gentleman Of Color: The Life of James Forten

by Julie Winch

Dr. Julie Winch’s A Gentleman of Color: The Life of James Forten details the extraordinary lives of James Forten and his descendants. Drawing on years of extensive research, Winch provides a comprehensive biography of James Forten, a man of African descent who was born free in Philadelphia and who spent his entire life fighting for the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence: that “all men are created equal.”

Purchase
A navy blue t-shirt with two white horizontal bars in which the words created equal are.
 

"Created Equal" T-Shirt

Don the Revolutionary words declared in the Declaration of Independence with this comfortable, lightweight navy blue t-shirt.

Purchase
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.

Purchase

Black History Month at the Museum is sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.

Independence Blue Cross logo with Independence written in sky blue.