A BRIGHTER COMING DAY: Rediscovering Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
is made possible by the efforts and cooperation of these organizations:

The Abraham Lincoln Foundation of the Union League, 140 S. Broad Street
The ALF shares the collections of the Union League with the public through tours, exhibits, symposia and special programs. ALF collaborates with the Civil War History Consortium, area colleges, the Pennsylvania Quest for Freedom and the PA Civil War 150 to shape an understanding of the history of the City of Philadelphia and the region during this pivotal time in American history.

The African American Museum of Philadelphia,
701 Arch Street
Founded in 1976, the AAMP is the first institution, built by a major American city, to house and interpret the life and work of African Americans. The museum has objectively interpreted and presented the achievements and aspirations of African-Americans from pre-Colonial times to the current day. Visit the museum’s new permanent exhibition, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876. The museum is committed to telling the story of African Americans in all its permutations: family life, the Civil Rights movement, arts and entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law and technology. The AAMP currently houses four galleries and an auditorium, each of which offer exhibitions anchored by one of our three dominant themes: the African Diaspora, the Philadelphia Story, and the Contemporary Narrative.

Art Sanctuary, 16th & Bainbridge Streets
Art Sanctuary was founded in 1998 by author and educator Lorene Cary to bring the creators of contemporary black arts into the community. We use the power of black art to transform individuals, unite groups of people, and enrich and draw inspiration from our urban community. We create excellent lectures, performances, and educational programs that feature established and aspiring artists. Signature programs include Celebration of Black Writing, Reading in Concert, North Stars Afterschool program, and Class Acts. Art Sanctuary has featured over 500 artists at the top of their field since 1998. Our programming attracts audiences across the economic, social, and racial/ethnic strata and served 13,000 people during the 2009-2010 season.

Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia
15 S 7th Street
The Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia is the gateway to the city’s history. Founded 70 years ago as the history museum of the City of Philadelphia, the museum allows students, families, metropolitan residents, and visitors both national and international to discover the city and gain insight into contemporary urban life through its exhibitions and programs.

The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, 1330 W. Polett Walk
The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection is one of the nation’s leading research facilities for the study of the history and culture of people of African descent. As a major research facility, it provides materials, expository programs and service for Black Studies research scholars. The collection is used by a wide spectrum of researchers ranging from high school students to well-established scholars.

Bridging Worlds Program
The Bridging Worlds Program was founded in Massachusetts in 1992 by Stephen Satell, following his success in getting at-risk basketball players onto the honor rolls at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The program moved to Philadelphia in 1996 and was at one point the biggest program bringing speakers into the city’s schools. The program includes mentoring and critical thinking components and has been uniquely successful both in involving parents and dramatically reducing the failure rate in a number of area high schools. 

The Civil War History Consortium
c/o HSP, 1300 Locust Street
The Civil War History Consortium is a group of almost 70 Philadelphia area institutions with sites, collections, and programs that relate to the Civil War era. It seeks to preserve, link, and
promote the stories, collections, and locations that reveal the Philadelphia region’s crucial role in the nation’s search for liberty and unity during the Civil War era by providing meaningful heritage and educational experiences.

Drexel University,
Africana Studies College of Arts & Sciences
3141 Chestnut Street
Africana Studies at Drexel University is an exciting interdisciplinary field that offers students the opportunity to explore history, culture, and politics throughout the African Diaspora. Africana Studies is a department of The College of Arts and Sciences, a key provider and innovator for the education of virtually all Drexel students at various points in their careers.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Co., 30 S. 17th Street
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and its surrounding countryside a premier destination through marketing and image-building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
The HSP is one of the nation’s oldest historical societies and one of its largest family history libraries. Following a complete merger with the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, it stands as a leading repository of immigrant and ethnic history, second only to the Library of Congress for material on the nation’s founding, and is a comprehensive destination for genealogical study. With approximately 21 million records including manuscripts, graphics, and books, HSP is an invaluable resource for historical research.

The Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust Street
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. It houses an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. The mission of the Library Company is to preserve, interpret, make available, and augment the valuable materials within its care.

The Moonstone Arts Center
110A S. 13th Street
The Moonstone Arts Center promotes creative exchange through diverse cultural programs. Each year Moonstone produces over 250 programs of poetry, author readings, music, theater and film at our location in Center City, Philadelphia, as well as organizing collaborative programs such as Thomas Paine: The Forgotten Founding Father and John Brown: 150 Years Later. We believe that the arts, creativity, and imagination are essential aspects of life, learning and community. The Moonstone Arts Center is a division of Moonstone Inc., which also operates the Moonstone School in South Philadelphia.

Mother Bethel AME Church
419 S 6th Street
Reverend Richard Allen, along with wealthy sail maker James Forten and the Reverend Absalom Jones, founded the Free African Society, laying the groundwork for human and civil rights organizations to come. The church, which stands on the oldest parcel of African-American-owned land, was a major hub on the Underground Railroad, providing shelter, aid and a beacon of hope to freedom seekers. Well-known abolitionists such as Harriet Tubman spoke here.

National Archives at Philadelphia
9th & Chestnut
The National Archives at Philadelphia is a branch of the National Archives of the United States’ nationwide system of public facilities for archival research and public programming. The Philadelphia archival holdings include some of the most significant official evidence of the tensions within the nation to address slavery and inequality and have American democracy apply to everyone.

The National Constitution Center
Independence Mall, 525 Arch St
The National Constitution Center is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance, through an interactive, interpretive facility within Independence National Historic Park and a program of national outreach, so that “We the People” may better secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

Pennsylvania Abolition Society
Incorporated in 1789, the PAS is a not-for-profit organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, founded by Anthony Benezet in 1775 and reorganized by Benjamin Rush in 1784. For nearly 235 years, the PAS has maintained a commitment to improving the condition of African Americans and others adversely affected by slavery and social injustice. PAS provided protection to free blacks against the threat of kidnapping and enslavement, as well as education and employment training for the black community. In contrast to other pre-Civil War anti-slavery organizations, the PAS viewed the end of the Civil War and Emancipation as only partially addressing needs within the black community. Consequently, the PAS continued to work on education and quality of life issues for African Americans. Today the PAS supports community efforts that seek to address the social, economic and educational inequities faced by African Americans, collaborates on initiatives that increase understanding of slavery’s imprint on contemporary life and works to bridge the divisions in our modern society resulting from our nation’s history of slavery, inequality and injustice.

Philadelphia Quest for Freedom,
Led regionally by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), Philadelphia Quest for Freedom is a heritage tourism initiative that promotes the region’s rich African-American history and Underground Railroad story.  To explore the Quest for Freedom trail or for more information on local sites and programs, visit

Philly 360°®
Historical Legacy Sites

Philly 360°® Legacy is your guide to Philly’s African-American history and cultural scene—music, history, nightlife and much more. For the most up-to-date info on Philly, including events, exclusive interviews and insider tips, check out

The School District of Philadelphia,
The Offices of Teaching & Learning
and Secondary School Reform
The School District of Philadelphia is looking forward to another successful collaboration with The Moonstone Art Center. Recent collaborations have included teacher and student workshops with visiting authors who are recognized as authorities on historical figures, including Thomas Paine and John Brown. This year, we will collaborate on the A Brighter Coming Day: Rediscovering Frances Ellen Watkins Harper project with two presentations.

A special thank you to the Charles L. Blockson
Collection at Temple University and to the Library Company for helping me find both the books and photographs that made the Frances Harper program and this newspaper possible.
Posted in Frances Harper