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2022 Interpreters-in-Residence

Thank you to these costumed living history interpreters for joining us at the Museum to explore the work of craftspeople of color through hands-on demonstrations, storytelling, and conversations.

Kehala and Jordan Smith

Jordan & Kehala Smith

October 8-9, 2022

Meet living history interpreters Kehala Smith (Tuscarora Nation, Turtle Clan) and Jordan Smith (Mohawk, Bear Clan), who will share stories about their culture, costuming, and traditions and engage guests in conversation about the past, present, and future of their people. They also will demonstrate and display culturally meaningful objects and materials, including woven baskets, slippery elm bark, and wampum belts.

Event Details
Daryian Kelton portrays a soldier of African descent as part of the Museum's Meet The Revolution program.

Daryian Kelton

The Museum welcomed historical interpreter Daryian Kelton, who presented the story of Polydore Redman, a man of African descent who went on to become a drummer in the 5th Pennsylvania (Continental) Battalion. His story began at the dawn of the American Revolution in 1775 when the war was still new and many Americans were advocating for a broad definition of liberty. Visitors learned about Redman's pursuit of liberty and how it differed from those he served alongside as the war proceeded. 

Kalela Williams interacts with young guests at a Discovery Cart on the Museum's Plaza as part of our Meet the Revolution series.

Kalela Williams

Ever wonder what life was like in an 18th-century schoolroom? Kalela Williams joined us to discuss the work of Elenore “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 of the Revolution, Williams gave insight into how young people worked and played during times of war and peace. Williams also discussed the work of writer and poet Phillis Wheatley and her lasting impact.  

Actor Nathan Alford-Tate depicts a sailor in a blue coat holding a sailmaking fid in our Meet James Forten first-person theatrical performance.

Nathan Alford-Tate

Visitors had a chance to meet 18-year-old James Forten at the end of the Revolutionary War as he was about to embark on a journey to London. Forten was interpreted by Nathan Alford-Tate, who also portrays the privateer in the Museum's theatrical performance of Forten's life. Guests learned about Forten's experience growing up as a free person of African descent in Revolutionary Philadelphia and asked him questions about his wartime experiences.

Living History Youth Summer Institute

In the summer of 2022, the Museum offered this inaugural program, a six-week intensive course for young adults interested in interpreting the lives of people of African ancestry in the Revolutionary era.

Living History Youth Summer Institute Closing Ceremony honored five students for completing the six-week course.

Living History Youth Summer Institute

In July and August 2022, the Museum of the American Revolution offered its inaugural Living History Youth Summer Institute. This six-week program was an intensive course for young adults interested in interpreting the lives of people of African ancestry in the Revolutionary era and involves guest speakers, research projects, and field study. It prepared participants to explore careers in cultural heritage, museum, and theater fields.

Learn More

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.

Noah Lewis portrays Ned Hector as he speaks with guests as part of our Meet The Revolution series.

Meet the Revolution: Noah Lewis

Historical interpreter Noah Lewis discusses his portrayal of Edward "Ned" Hector, a free African American man and soldier who fought in the Revolutionary War.
Image 102320 Meet Revolution Kalela Williams Occupied Moaroccupy 28sept2019

Meet the Revolution: Kalela Williams

Historical interpreter Kalela Williams discusses the character she portrays – an African American teacher in Philadelphia in the 1790s.
Meet The Revolution historical interpreter Daniel Sieh

Meet the Revolution: Daniel Sieh

Daniel Sieh discusses his work bringing Asian and Asian American history to the forefront and his ongoing research on the role Asian people played in the American Revolution.

Past Interpreters-in-Residence

Learn more about the costumed living history interpreters who have previously joined the Museum for Meet the Revolution.

Noah Lewis portrays Ned Hector and teaches a young guest how to fire a cannon as part of our Meet The Revolution series.

Noah Lewis

In Summer 2021, 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. 

Meet The Revolution Brenda Parker Dsc5960

Brenda Parker

In Summer 2021, 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. 

Cheyney Mcknight interacts with Museum guests as part of 2019 Meet The Revolution programming.

Cheyney McKnight

In Summer 2021 and July 2019 at the Museum, 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. She has also discussed African American women’s headwraps and spiritual practices, and she held workshops on African adornments, storytelling, foodways, and medicine. 

Joel Cook talks with guests at the Museum as part of 2019 Meet The Revolution programming.

Joel Cook

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.

Image 102220 Nastassia Parker

Nastassia Parker

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.


The Meet the Revolution Summer Interpreters-in-Residence Program and the Living History Youth Summer Institute are part of the Museum’s African American Interpretive Program Sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal.