Celebrate Black History Month with “Black Founders” Exhibit Opening and Special Events for All Ages this FebruaryJanuary 19, 2023
New Special Exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia Opens Feb. 11
Annual Dennis Farm Forum on Racial Understanding to Be Held Feb. 25
Celebrate Black History Month and explore the stories of unsung Revolutionaries at the Museum of the American Revolution this February. Through a groundbreaking new special exhibition, an engaging forum on race, powerful theatrical performances, and more, visitors can experience a more inclusive – and thus, more accurate – history of our nation’s founding.
A highlight of the month will be the grand opening of the Museum’s newest special exhibition, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023. Visitors will delve into the life and legacy of free Black Philadelphian James Forten and three generations of his remarkable family. Using historical artifacts, works of art, textiles, documents, and immersive environments, Black Founders will explore the Forten family’s roles in the Revolutionary War, business in Philadelphia, and abolition and voting rights from 1776 to 1876.
Black History Month Highlights Include:
Member Preview of Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia Special Exhibit
Feb. 10, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Join us for the Members-only preview of our new exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia. Members will enjoy refreshments in a Member lounge as well as access to the exhibition before it opens to the public.
Opening Weekend of Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia Special Exhibit
Feb. 11-12, 2023, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Join the Museum for the opening weekend of our newest special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, which introduces visitors to James Forten and his descendants as they navigated the American Revolution in Philadelphia to become leaders in the abolition movement in the lead-up to the Civil War and the women's suffrage movement. Throughout the weekend, visitors can also experience 20-minute theatrical performances about James Forten’s life. The exhibit is included with regular Museum admission.
Presidents Day Weekend at the Museum
Feb. 18-20, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
During Presidents Day Weekend, join us at the Museum to explore the life, leadership, and legacy of the nation’s first president, George Washington, and the diverse range of people that he interacted with. Through discovery carts, pop-up talks, and hands-on activities, discover the stories of Ona Judge, William Lee, and Harry Washington, who were enslaved by George and Martha Washington and sought different paths to freedom.
Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust's Lonae A. Moore Memorial Forum
Feb. 25, 2023, 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
In partnership with the Museum, the Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust will present the sixth annual Lonaé A. Moore Memorial Forum, “It Begins with Each of Us: Fostering Racial Understanding." The theme of this year's forum is "A Way Forward" with a focus on how to make sure the full stories of our nation’s past, including the contributions of people of African descent, are told today. Speakers at the event will include Errin Haines, founder and editor-at-large for The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom covering the intersection of women, politics, and policy, and an MSNBC contributor, as well as Jesse McCarthy, professor of African American studies and English literature at Harvard University and author of Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul?.
Gallery Highlights Tour: Black Voices of the Revolution
Saturdays & Sundays at Noon
Join a Museum educator for our new 60-minute tour of the core exhibit galleries, which highlights 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 Harry Washington’s international life. 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. Tickets can be purchased here.
Discovery Carts, Pop-Up Talks, Crafts, and More
Stop by a discovery cart to learn about Ona Judge, who escaped from the president’s house in Philadelphia, and listen to pop-up talks in our galleries about artifacts that connect with Black stories of the Revolutionary era. In our family-friendly Revolution Place discovery center, make your own cap to wear home like those worn by the Continental Army’s Rhode Island Regiment, which consisted primarily of Black and native troops.
In the Museum’s galleries and in our Virtual Museum, explore other personal — often unfamiliar — stories of free and enslaved people of African descent during the Revolutionary era. Learn about Olaudah Equiano, who purchased his own freedom and published a memoir of his experiences; Lemuel Haynes, a veteran of the Revolutionary War who became the first Black man in the United States to be ordained a minister; London, an African American teenager who joined Benedict Arnold’s British American Legion as a trumpeter; and Phillis Wheatley, America’s first published Black female poet; among many others.
The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Revolution Place discovery center is open Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets to the Museum can be purchased by calling 215.253.6731, at AmRevMuseum.org, or at the front desk. Save $3 per adult ticket by purchasing online. Kids ages 5 and under are always free. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days.
About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.