Meet the Revolution
The Museum's Meet the Revolution is an ongoing series of costumed living history programs that explore the voices, viewpoints, and experiences of the diverse people of the Revolutionary era.
Summer 2021 Interpreters-in-Residence
Throughout Summer 2021, these costumed living history interpreters joined us at the Museum to explore the work of African American craftspeople through hands-on demonstrations, storytelling, and conversations.
Historical interpreter Brenda Parker explored the skills and innovations of both free and enslaved women of African descent. Through the exploration of various textiles, Parker discussed block printing, hand-dyeing, mudcloth, and other traditions brought to America from Africa. She also discussed various waxes and soaps as well as soap-making techniques used in the Revolutionary era.
Noah Lewis portrayed a Revolutionary soldier of African descent, Edward “Ned” Hector. Museum guests met Hector in the 1820s as a respected resident of Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania, as he fought to gain a pension for service in the war. Lewis also discussed the skills and innovations of African American teamsters as well as everyday life in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Cheyney McKnight, founder of Not Your Momma's History, told stories about Quansheba, a woman of African descent who lived as an enslaved and then free woman on the site of the Museum during the Revolutionary War. McKnight also discussed the day-to-day life of a bondwoman as well as the trade and skillset of a Philadelphia pepper pot soup vendor.
Ever wonder what life was like in an 18th-century schoolroom? Kalela Williams portrayed Helena Harris, an African American schoolteacher in Revolutionary Philadelphia. Harris had the unique perspective of having taught white children in both England and Philadelphia. With a focus on the children and education of the Revolutionary era, Williams gave insight into how young people worked and played during times of war and peace.
Explore More Online
Watch interviews with historical interpreters to learn how they are bringing the voices, viewpoints, and experiences of the diverse people of the Revolutionary era to life with their work.
Meet the Revolution: Noah Lewis
Meet the Revolution: Kalela Williams
Meet the Revolution: Daniel Sieh
Learn more about the costumed living history interpreters who have previously joined the Museum for Meet the Revolution.
In May and August 2019 at the Museum, historical interpreter Joel Cook discussed the opportunities that people of African descent had at sea during the Revolutionary War.
In June 2019 at the Museum, Nastassia Parker portrayed Ona Judge, an enslaved woman who ran away from George and Martha Washington’s household in Philadelphia. The 20-minute performance is available to watch online.
In July 2019 at the Museum, Cheyney McKnight discussed African American women’s headwraps and spiritual practices, and she held workshops on African adornments, storytelling, foodways, and medicine.
The Meet the Revolution Summer 2021 Interpreters-in-Residence Program is part of the Museum’s African American Interpretive Program Sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal.