Explore what freedom means to you this summer with our Black Founders exhibit, walking tours, and so much more. Plan Your Visit

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

Explore the continuing struggle for equality for all and join the Museum to celebrate Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. The date commemorates the day in 1865 when the abolition of slavery reached the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Texas.

Special Exhibit: Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia
Onsite (Patriots Gallery) | Daily, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

In the Museum’s newest special exhibition, explore the life and legacy of free Black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer, and successful businessman James Forten and his descendants as they navigated the American Revolution and cross-racial relationships in Philadelphia to become leaders in the abolition movement in the lead-up to the Civil War and the women's suffrage movement. 

Guided Gallery Tours & Neighborhood Walking Tours
Onsite | Options Vary Daily

Additional Ticket Required for Tours
Explore Old City Philadelphia’s early Black history on the Black Founders Walking Tour, a 1.5-hour guided walking tour of the neighborhood that includes stops at iconic sites like Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Washington Square Park, and other historic sites. At the Museum, join a Museum educator in our core galleries for our 60-minute Black Voices of the Revolution gallery highlights tour about people of African descent during the American Revolution. 

Revolution Place
Onsite (lower level) | Daily, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, will be open daily to explore the Museum’s lively, diverse Old City neighborhood during the 1700s through hands-on exploration in four key recreated historical environments, including a military encampment, a tavern, a home, and an 18th-century meeting house. Don’t miss themed crafts and activities, including making your own cap inspired by those worn by the Rhode Island Regiment, which consisted primarily of Black and Native American troops.

Urban Creators
Onsite (Plaza) | Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
We will be joined on the Museum's outdoor plaza on Saturday and Sunday by representatives from Urban Creators, who will be selling locally grown produce and seeds that would have been grown in Revolutionary-era Philadelphia as well as discussing food insecurity in Philadelphia. Based in North Philadelphia, Urban Creators is a platform for radical and collaborative imagination that uses food, art, and education as tools to nurture resilience and self-determination.

Documentary Premiere: "Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia"
TV: WHYY | Monday, June 19, 7:30 p.m. & 11 p.m.
The new 26-minute film “Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia," presented by WHYY and the Museum of the American Revolution, explores the story of one of Philadelphia’s most influential early African American families. The film is inspired by the Museum’s Black Founders special exhibition. Tickets are available to attend a special screening event, including a reception and question-and-answer session, will take place at the Museum on Friday evening, June 16.

Meet the Revolution: Hannah Wallace
Onsite | Daily
Interpreter Hannah Wallace will unpack the lives of three generations of women from the Forten family, including Charlotte Vandine Forten. Through documents, handling objects, and graphics, Wallace will share stories that connect Charlotte, her daughters Margaretta, Sarah, Louisa, and Harriet, and her granddaughter Charlotte L. Forten, who travelled to South Carolina during the Civil War to teach recently freed people.

Discovery Cart: Harry Washington
Onsite | Daily

Explore replica objects related to the life of Harry Washington, who was enslaved by the Washingtons and found freedom through service in the British army thanks to the Dunmore Proclamation. 

In-Gallery Talk: Phillis Wheatley
Onsite | Daily

Join a Museum educator at an original, signed copy of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, written by Phillis Wheatley, the first published Black female poet to learn more about Wheatley’s life and the lasting legacy of her poetry. 

Finding Freedom Gallery Guide
Onsite | Daily
For people of African descent in Revolutionary-era America, the Revolution offered promise and peril. Some chose the cause of independence and others sided with the British. Many used the ideological and social tumult of the Revolution to pursue freedom and justice. However, most people of African descent would not enjoy the most revolutionary legacies of this period – personal liberty, citizenship, the right to vote, and social equality — for generations. Use our Finding Freedom gallery guide to follow the stories of several people of African descent throughout our galleries.

Event details and programming are subject to change at any time.

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True Colours Flags with family of four looking over railing.

A Revolutionary Summer

Throughout A Revolutionary Summer, the Museum's special events and exhibits offer visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore the American Revolution and its ongoing relevance.
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A visitor engagement associate educates families on the Privateer Ship in the galleries.
Jeff Fusco 

Walking & Guided Tours

Choose from walking, guided, audio, highlights, and touch tour options to explore the Museum with an expert.
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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

Now Open Daily, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
In our newest special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, explore 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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