Cross Keys Café will be closed for the primary election on April 23. The Museum will be open normal hours, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 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.

Don’t Miss Our Groundbreaking Black Founders Special Exhibition

Delve Deeper into Lesser-Known Stories of the Revolutionary Era with Black History Gallery Tours, Pop-Up Talks, Crafts, and More 

Celebrate Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the legal abolition of slavery in the United States, with the Museum of the American Revolution from Saturday, June 17 – Monday, June 19, 2023. Throughout the weekend, visitors can explore stories of perseverance, leadership, and creativity in the continuing struggle for equality for all through gallery tours, pop-up talks, crafts, and more.

Be sure to visit Museum’s newest special exhibition, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, to learn about the life and legacy of free Black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer, and successful businessowner James Forten and his descendants as they became leaders in the abolition and women's suffrage movements. The exhibition brings together more than 100 historical artifacts, including rare historical objects on loan from descendants of the Forten family, which are on view for the very first time in a public exhibit.

“We are committed to a more inclusive — and thus more accurate — telling of the Revolutionary story, one that shines a light on the diverse and often less familiar people of the era who played essential roles in establishing our nation,” said Adrienne Whaley, the Museum’s Director of Education and Community Engagement. “Juneteenth is a celebratory moment, but also provides an opportunity for deep reflection about what the American Revolution’s promises of liberty and equality mean for all people and how we can all work to fulfill those promises.”

Finding Freedom tableau scene at the Museum depicting a British soldier of African descent trying to recruit a young boy of African descent to find freedom with the British army.

Juneteenth Weekend Highlights:

  • Black Voices of the Revolution Gallery Tour | Additional Tickets Required
    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. Tours and ticketing options can be found here.
  • Revolution Place Discovery Center | Daily from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    The Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, will be open daily for kids and kids at heart to explore an immersive environment inspired by the Museum’s lively, diverse Old City neighborhood during the 1700s. 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.
  • Discovery Cart: Harry Washington | Daily from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    Explore replica objects related to the life of Harry Washington, who was enslaved by the Washingtons but found freedom through service in the British army after hearing of Dunmore’s Proclamation.
  • Pop-Up Talks: Phillis Wheatley | Daily from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    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 in the Western world. Discover the story of Wheatley’s life and consider the lasting legacy of her poetry.
  • Documentary Premiere: "Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia" | Watch on WHYY on Monday, June 19 at 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, which tells the inspiring story of free Black Philadelphian James Forten and his remarkable family, from the Revolutionary era through the Civil War and Reconstruction. In addition, a special screening event will take place at the Museum on Friday, June 16.
  • Finding Freedom Gallery Guide | Daily and Online, Any Time
    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, available onsite and online, to follow the stories of several people of African descent throughout our galleries.

The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Black Founders is open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is included with regular Museum admission. 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.