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 2022 Interpreters-in-Residence
These costumed living history interpreters will join us at the Museum to explore the work of African American craftspeople through hands-on demonstrations, storytelling, and conversations.
Daryian KeltonJune 18 & July 1
The Museum welcomes historical interpreter Daryian Kelton as part of the Meet the Revolution series. As a costumed interpreter, Kelton will present 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 begins 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. Learn more about Redman's pursuit of liberty and how it differed from those he served alongside as the war proceeded.
Kalela WilliamsFridays & Saturdays in July, Fridays-Sundays in August
Ever wonder what life was like in an 18th-century schoolroom? Join Kalela Williams as she discusses 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 will give insight into how young people worked and played during times of war and peace. Williams also will discuss the work of writer and poet Phillis Wheatley and her lasting impact.
Nathan Alford-TateAug. 20, Aug. 27, Sept. 3-4
Meet 18-year-old James Forten at the end of the Revolutionary War as he is about to embark on a journey to London. Forten will be interpreted by Nathan Alford-Tate who also portrays the privateer in the Museum's theatrical performance of Forten's life. Learn more about Forten's experience growing up as a free person of African descent in revolutionary Philadelphia and ask him questions about his wartime experiences.
Please Note: Availability of the costumed interpretors is subject to change at any time.
Living History Youth Summer Institute
In the summer of 2022, the Museum will offer 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
In July and August 2022, the Museum of the American Revolution will offer its inaugural Living History Youth Summer Institute. This six-week program is 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 will prepare participants to explore careers in cultural heritage, museum, and theater fields.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.