Pennsylvania Hall was burned to the ground in 1838 along with the 'Orphanage for Colored Youth'. To raise money for the victims, composer, Francis Johnson wrote the Orphan’s Cotillion. Dancer, Kyla Ayers, performs against a backdrop of paintings by artist, Michael Williamson.
Margaret Forten was a domestic worker, single mother, and former slave. While little is known about her life, her legacy lives on through the impact of her children, among them philanthropist and activist, James Forten. She is brought to life by actress, Dena Bleu, and by the poetry of Yolanda Wisher.
Amy Matilda Cassey lived at 243 Delancey Street. Her album is a rare collection of 19th century friendship letters, housed at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Author and historian, Erica Armstrong Dunbar explains how it serves as a window onto the lives of Philadelphia's black elite.
A moving panorama or tableau vivant, The Philadelphia Negro features the words of the pioneering sociologist, W.E.B. Dubois. Catto's death is a footnote in his social history of the city's Seventh Ward. The video features work and performances by Jay Simple, Devin Kenny, and Raymond Reese. This version of Steal Away is by the late Charlie Haden.
Weccacoe Playground is Mother Bethel Burial Ground. A stop-motion animation made in collaboration with artist, Gabrielle Patterson, marks hallowed ground with ancestor's footsteps. Philadelphia poet laureate, Yolanda Wisher's sweet tea blues, tells Amelia Brown's story. Paul Robeson's rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, carries her home.