Museum Marks Black History Month

The African American Museum of Philadelphia is offering visitors an atmosphere to learn about the history left out of most textbooks, including virtual experiences, featuring artwork by artist of the month, Richard J. Watson and a place where difficult conversations are held.

Morgan Lloyd, a Gallery Guide at the African American Museum says, “the importance of Black History Month isn’t exclusively on the word history. It’s about black existence in the past, present and future and how they all connect to one another.” 

As you enter the first floor gallery history comes to life as different historical icons from 18th century Philadelphia such as Octavius Catto, who answer questions visitors commonly have or wouldn’t know about their lives. 

Richard J. Watson‘s finest artwork can be found throughout the top floors of the gallery including his acrylic paintings Biography of a Drive, Play it Again Sam, and even his paintings that he had done on computer monitors.

Watson is the featured artist this month due to being a Black icon not only locally, but nationally. He was a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1968 and dedicated his life fighting for civil rights, education, and sharing his artwork for murals with Philadelphia churches.

Ryan Lawson, a security officer at the museum, mentioned the popularity of Watson and shared that he was unaware of how important Watson was and how important it is for people to become aware of not only his talents but also his activism.

Visitors are attracted to the museum because it focuses on the history overlooked during the revolutionary times. 

Lastly, Lloyd mentioned “at the end of the day, people who exist now are the living embodiment of the things they were working for. And now we also have to think of the people who are coming into the future.”

The African American Museum of Philadelphia will be celebrating Black History not only in February but all year long. 

Visit for more information on how you can purchase tickets and celebrate Black History this month with those at the African American Museum of Philadelphia.

“African American Museum of Philadelphia”

Temple Update’s Danielle Jarrell and Kale Ramos took a visit to the African American Museum of Philadelphia where they spoke about the importance of Black History Month and new exhibitions at the museum.

Reporter: Danielle Jarrell

Photographer: Danielle Jarrell

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