When archaeologists first began excavations of President George Washington’s Philadelphia house — the first “White House,” now set within viewing distance of the Liberty Bell pavilion, a tale of slavery was not foremost on their minds.
Yet the excavation, and subsequent research, dug up just that.
On Monday, March 22, at 6 p.m., Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Michael Coard, organizer of the Avenging the Ancestors Coalition, offers a public talk, “Slavery in Philadelphia at America’s First ‘White House,’” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
He discusses President George Washington’s enslavement of Black men, women and children at the President’s House in Philadelphia — and the recent grassroots efforts by his coalition, and others, to ensure that this piece of history is duly commemorated at the national historic park site.
In the politics of cultural heritage, what does “duly commemorated” look like, and to whom?
This program is sponsored by the Penn Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center. Admission is pay-what-you-want; a reception follows.
Advance registration (optional) is online: www.penn.museum/events-calendar/details/181-slavery-in-philadelphia.html
The Penn Cultural Heritage Center, established at the Penn Museum in 2007, is dedicated to expanding both scholarly and public awareness, discussion and debate about the complex issues surrounding the world’s rich — and endangered — cultural heritage.
PCHC draws upon the expertise of the museum’s curators, researchers, graduate students, other Penn department faculty, and outside scholars, for its programs.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity.
Founded in 1887, the museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world.
With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.
Penn Museum is located at 3260 South St., on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field and adjacent to SEPTA's University City Regional Rail station serving the R1, R2, and R3 lines.