NPS - National Park Service

05/04/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/04/2021 08:14

National Park Service Hosts Virtual Program “The Lives of Monuments: Patriots of African Descent” on May 20

News Release Date:
May 4, 2021

Contact:Emma Silverman

Contact:Gregory Purifoy

King of Prussia, PA - On June 19, 1993, the Monument to Patriots of African Descent was dedicated at Valley Forge National Historical Park. It is not only one of the newest Revolutionary War monuments in a National Park, but also the only site in the Northeast that honors African Americans' contributions to the founding of our nation.

'The Lives of Monuments: Patriots of African Descent' is a virtual public event that brings together scholars, National Park Rangers, and members of the public to discuss Black representation in histories of the American Revolution and its monuments. Join us on Thursday May 20th from 6 to 7:30pm ET by following this link to register:

Tune in ten minutes early to see a slideshow with photographs of the monument.

The event features Dr. Paulette Jones and Mrs. Deanna Shelton (Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.), Dr. Renée Ater (Public Scholar and Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland), and Ranger Steven Walter (Park Guide at Valley Forge NHP). They will discuss the process of commissioning the Monument to Patriots of African Descent, the history of sites that commemorate or exclude Black Americans from public culture, and the National Park Service's role in foregrounding racially diverse histories of the American Revolution.

It is the third installment in the five-part webinar series 'The Lives of Monuments: Memory, Revolution, and Our National Parks.' The series is organized by Dr. Emma Silverman, National Park Service Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow, and it is made possible by the National Park Foundation with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The May 20th event is also co-hosted by the Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Follow the links below to register for upcoming webinars in the 'Lives of Monuments' series:

June 17, 2021 from 6 to 7:30pm EST, 'The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier-Vandalism and the Legacy of the Founding Fathers' (Independence National Historical Park)

July 8, 2021 from 6 to 7:30pm EST, 'The General von Steuben Statue-Interpreting the Revolution's 'Gay General' and LGBTQ+ Histories in the Early Republic' (Valley Forge National Historical Park)

Contact [email protected] with questions.

About Valley Forge National Historical Park: Valley Forge National Historical Park is nationally significant as the location of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army under General George Washington. The historic landscapes, structures, objects, and archeological and natural resources at Valley Forge are tangible links to one of the most defining events in our nation's history. Few places evoke the spirit of patriotism and independence, represent individual and collective sacrifice, or demonstrate the resolve, tenacity and determination of the people of the United States to be free as does Valley Forge. The Valley Forge experience is fundamental to both American history and American myth, and remains an enduring source of inspiration. Learn more about the history of the Patriots of African Descent monument online:

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at