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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.

Neighborhood Walking Tours, Discovery Carts, Pop-Up Talks, and More Will Delve Deeper into Lesser-Known Stories of the Revolutionary Era

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 18 – Monday, June 20, 2022, and explore the continuing struggle for equality for all. 

In the Museum’s galleries and through special offerings — including a neighborhood walking tour, discovery carts, pop-up talks, and more — discover the stories of unsung Black men and women of the Revolutionary era and explore the meaning behind Juneteenth and its connections to the Early Republic.

“We are committed to a more inclusive — and thus a 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.”

Juneteenth Weekend Highlights:

Neighborhood Walking Tour: James Forten’s Philadelphia
Saturday, June 18 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. | $10

Join a Museum educator for a sneak preview of our James Forten’s Philadelphia walking tour, created for our upcoming special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, which officially opens to the public in February 2023. James Forten was a free Black man who served as a privateer during the Revolutionary War and later became a prominent businessman and abolitionist. On this walking tour, explore the Museum's neighborhood to learn about sites that were important to Forten’s life and legacy, including the site of his family’s home near Fourth and Lombard Sts. Purchase $10 tickets online here or at the front desk.

Revolution Place Discovery Center | Daily, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, will be open daily to highlight the Museum’s lively, diverse Old City neighborhood during the 1700s through hands-on exploration in four key recreated historical environments, including a military encampment, a tavern, a home, and an 18th-century meeting house. Don’t miss themed crafts and activities, including the opportunity to make your own cap like those worn by the Rhode Island Regiment, which by 1778 was composed mostly of Black and Indigenous enlistees.

Pop-Up Talks: Finding Freedom Tableau | Daily at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., and 2:15 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, 10-minute pop-up talks at the Finding Freedom tableau will explore the stories of men and women of African descent in war-torn Virginia and the difficult choices they made. Discover the story of London, a Black teenager who joined Benedict Arnold’s British American Legion as a trumpeter; Deborah Squash, who ran away from Mount Vernon and sought protection with the British Army; and others. Plus, continue exploring online with our Finding Freedom online interactive feature, which is free and accessible to all at any time.

Stories on Deck: Life at Sea | Daily at 4 p.m.
All hands on deck on the Museum’s replica sloop! Join a Museum educator for a story about what life was like at sea during the Revolutionary War and learn more about the life of James Forten, a free Black Philadelphian who served on a privateer ship before becoming a successful businessman and stalwart abolitionist.

Discovery Cart: Black Soldiers of the Revolution | Daily from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Join a Museum educator to view and handle replica objects to learn more about the service of Black soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Plus, learn more about the Museum’s recently acquired archive featuring nearly 200 documents bearing the names of Black and Native American soldiers who served in the Continental Army.

Meet the Revolution with Daryian Kelton | Saturday, June 18 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Museum welcomes the return of costumed 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 was purchased through coercion by members of the Philadelphia Associators and who went on to become a drummer in the 5th Pennsylvania (Continental) Battalion. 

Meet James Forten | Saturday and Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Experience a 20-minute first-person theatrical performance about James Forten’s life, written by local playwright Marissa Kennedy and performed by actor Nathan Alford-Tate. Performances take place at the Museum's Alan B. Miller Theater on the second floor.

Special Exhibit: Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War | Daily from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The Museum's special exhibition, now open through Sept. 5, 2022, immerses visitors in the dramatic and research-based works of nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani to bring compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events of the American Revolution to life. Troiani’s latest work, “Brave Men as Ever Fought,” depicts young Black sailor James Forten looking on as Black and Native American troops in the ranks of the Continental Army marched past Independence Hall on their way to victory at Yorktown. Forten later described those men as “brave men as ever fought.” Don’t miss 10-minute, in-gallery talks at Troiani’s “Brave Men as Ever Fought” painting and at the “A Soldier of Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment, 1775” figure study throughout the weekend. Access to Liberty is included with regular Museum admission.

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 Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, a woman who sued for freedom from enslavement and won; Olaudah Equiano, who purchased his own freedom and published a memoir of his experiences; and Phillis Wheatley, America’s first published Black female poet; among many others.

Juneteenth offerings are included with regular Museum admission (walking tours are an additional charge). The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk, online at AmRevMuseum.org, or by calling 215.253.6731. Save $2 per adult ticket by purchasing online. Tickets are valid for two consecutive days. Children ages 5 and under are always free.

Health and Safety Note
Masks and proof of vaccination are no longer required for daytime visitors to the Museum. More information about health and safety measures at the Museum is available here.

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.