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February 02, 2022

Hip hop lecture kicks off Black History Month events at African American Museum in Philadelphia

A virtual screening of 'Harriett,' a biopic on abolitionist Harriett Tubman, will occur Saturday night

History Museums
AAMP Black History Month Courtesy/Visit Philadelphia

The African American Museum of Philadelphia will kick off its Black History Month programming this weekend with a lecture on the history of hip hop and a virtual screening of 'Harriet,' a biopic on abolitionist icon Harriet Tubman.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is celebrating Black History Month with a series of events celebrating the contributions of hip hop artists, abolitionist Harriet Tubman and Revolutionary War hero Ned Hector.

The events kick off Saturday with a "Learning through the Arts" lecture delving into the history of hip hop, with a focus on how other Black music traditions, like jazz, influenced the genre. 

The program is designed for people ages 12 and older and is included with the price of admission, which is $14 for adults. The lecture will run from 1:45 to 3 p.m. and again from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Space is limited, so people interested in attending are encouraged to register ahead of time on the museum's website.

The museum also is hosting a free virtual screening of "Harriet," a biopic that tells the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who led hundreds to freedom along the Underground Railroad. The screening runs from 5-8 p.m. Saturday. Participants must register online.

On Sunday, AAMP will kick off its "Setting the Tone" virtual concert series featuring musicians from the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. There will showings at 1:45 and 4:45 p.m. every Sunday this month. Attendees must register ahead of time.

The museum also will be "visited" by Ned Hector on Saturdays Feb. 12 and Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. and noon. Hector, who will be played by impersonator Noah Lewis, was one of a few thousand Black soldiers who fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

Hector's regiment, the 3rd Pennsylvania Artillery, was ordered to abandon its guns, horses and wagons in an effort to save itself after the British overran American forces during the Battle of Brandywine in Chadds Ford.  But Hector instead threw a stack of abandoned guns into his wagon and fended off the British as he sped away with his horses. They were the only weapons salvaged by his company and he has been remembered for his bravery. 

The impersonation event is included with the price of admission, but participants are asked to register online beforehand.

Additionally, the museum has been celebrating Black History Month on its Instagram and Facebook accounts. Every day this month, it is sharing a new post about the city's Black history. 

Monday's post honored the Cecil B. Freedom Fighters, a group of activists who successfully challenged segregationist policies at Girard College in the 1960s. On Tuesday, the museum highlighted the Fortens, a wealthy and influential family of free Black abolitionists whose city roots predate the Revolutionary War.