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Image 011521 Philly Jazz Project We Shall 2019

A Live Performance Developed by the Philadelphia Jazz Project Will Intermingle Spoken Word, Singing, and Instrumental Music

Join the Museum of the American Revolution to honor the life, service, and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during MLK Weekend, Saturday, Jan. 14 – Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, highlighted by a new performance developed by the Philadelphia Jazz Project. Plus, through theatrical performances, pop-up talks, discovery carts, and a poetry activity, visitors can discover the ongoing promise of the American Revolution and explore what it takes to change the world.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at 1 p.m., visitors to the Museum can experience Philadelphia Jazz Project’s ‘Wait Means Never: A Musical Exploration of MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail,’ an engaging intermingling of spoken word, singing, and instrumental music paying tribute to Dr. King, one of America’s greatest citizens and thinkers. The hour-long performance will focus on King’s 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, a timeless letter that is a profoundly engaging rumination on faith, race, community, justice, democracy, and humanity.

Performers include Bethlehem Roberson, vocals and percussion; Jocko MacNelly, bass and guitar; Kendra Butler Waters, keyboard; Malik Henry, drums and percussion; Marcell Bellinger, trumpet and keyboard; Josh Lee, saxophone; and Warren Longmire, poet and spoken word artist. This performance is included with regular Museum admission.

Other Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend Highlights:

  • Meet Elizabeth Freeman Performance | Daily at 1:15 p.m. & 3:15 p.m.
    Watch a first-person theatrical performance portraying the life and experiences of Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mumbet, a Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom from enslavement and won. The performance stars Katelyn E. Appiah-Kubi as Elizabeth Freeman and was written by Teresa Miller.
  • Black Voices of the Revolution: Gallery Highlights Tour | Saturday & Sunday at 12 p.m.
    Join a Museum educator for the debut weekend of 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.
  • Meet the Revolution with Daryian Kelton & Hugh Goffinet | Saturday, Jan. 14
    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. Goffinet will explore the story of Harry Washington, who was enslaved by George and Martha Washington before he found freedom through service in the British army. Part of the African American Interpretive Program supported by Comcast NBCUniversal, 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.
  • Revolution Place Discovery Center | Daily from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Explore Revolution Place, the Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, which brings to life Old City’s lively, diverse neighborhood during the 1700s and invites visitors to learn through hands-on exploration. Kids of all ages can immerse themselves in four historical environments – a military encampment, a tavern, a parlor, and an 18th-century meeting house – to experience the places where the American Revolution took root. Throughout the weekend, Revolution Place visitors can participate in an activity based on poetry written by Phillis Wheatley, the first published African American female poet. 
  • Community Engagement Wall | Daily
    How can you create change in your community? Guests are encouraged to share how they are carrying forward the Revolution’s promises of liberty and equality at a community engagement wall in the Museum’s first-floor rotunda.
  • In-Gallery Talks: Let Them Vote | Daily
    Join a Museum educator at the When Women Lost the Vote tableau in our core galleries for a 10-minute talk to learn about voting rights for women and people of color in New Jersey from 1776-1807.
  • Discovery Cart: Protest in Early America | Daily from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Online, Any Time
    Join a Museum educator at this discovery cart that uses images and replica objects to spark conversations about the stories told in the Museum's “American Liberties, 1765-1775” gallery. Examine how early Americans used boycotts, printed propaganda, violence, and public demonstrations to advocate for various causes and helps guests consider similarities and differences between the 18th century and today. 
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Promises of the American Revolution | Online, Any Time
    Throughout many of his speeches and writings, King powerfully invoked the words and messages of the American Revolution in his calls for civil and economic rights and in speaking out against racism. By invoking the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, King returned often to a central tenet of his work: holding America and its people to the promise of “the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to all men, a promise made by the Founders against the backdrop of the practice of slavery and the displacement of Native peoples. Read more here.

All Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend activities are included with regular Museum admission (Black Voices Gallery Highlights Tour is an additional charge). Tickets to the Museum can be purchased by calling 215.253.6731, at, or at the front desk. Kids ages 5 and under are always free. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days.

About Philadelphia Jazz Project
Philadelphia Jazz Project (PJP) is a special initiative which works to inspire a network to support, promote, archive and celebrate the diverse elements within the Philadelphia jazz community, with the larger goal of connecting to the global community. PJP’s mission is to expand the audience, increase creative opportunities and to extend the conversation about the music through special events, that preset a diverse and intergenerational picture of the Philadelphia Jazz communities. For more information, visit

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 or call 877.740.1776.