Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776 - 1876

On June 19, 2009, The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) unveiled its new core exhibition Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776 - 1876, presented by PECO. Its primary focus is to re-count the stories of and contributions made by people of African descent in Philadelphia. The overall goal is to draw visitors into another time and place called “history,” where they can encounter and come to understand the people who created the world that they now inhabit. Through this exhibit visitors will learn who the people were, how they lived and worked, and their unheralded impact on our nation.

When entering the Museum, visitors will be welcomed with a general overview of the exhibition in Gallery 1, including an interactive timeline, highlighting a sequence of images, all drawn from the historical record, that spans 100 years of history. The images found on the timeline will illuminate and explore topics of relevance including entrepreneurship, environment, education, religion, and family traditions.

In Gallery 2, visitors will be surrounded by what appear to be ten full-size figures of trailblazers from 18th Century Philadelphia. The figures are actually full-size video projections, patiently waiting for a visitor to approach and actively engage them. Once activated, the individual trailblazer delivers an impassioned monologue about life in Philadelphia during the time period. Adjacent to each full-size screen will be a small touch-screen complete with a menu of topics that this particular trailblazer will discuss upon activation. Sound is delivered by directional speakers utilizing cutting-edge technology that will filter the sound. These speakers create an atmosphere similar to a genteel cocktail party, with each dialogue clearly understandable and undisturbed by additional visitors exploring the stories of other agents of change.

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