Nat'l Constitution Black history programs

February 5, 2013 4:28:45 AM PST
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation proudly tells us that we live in the destination most popular with African Americans.

You know America was founded here, but the full benefit of being an American took almost 80 years to reach African Americans.

That's just part of the story you can explore this month at the National Constitution Center, 6th and Arch Streets in Old City.

Programs coordinator Jenna Winterle told Action News there are special features this month everyone can enjoy, but especially kids.

There's a game which makes the contributions of African Americans come to life. There are panels highlighting landmarks in our Constitution's history.

For example, the 1857 Dred Scott decision which denied African Americans the full protection of the Constitution. But then President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation effectively overturning that decision.

The original, of course, is at the National Archives in Washington, but one of very few original signed copies is at the Constitution Center.

Other exhibits explore the turbulent civil rights era and the accomplishments of courageous leaders from Thurgood Marshall to Martin Luther King.

All this is free with your regular admission. So is a show called "Breaking Barriers", which takes young people on a guided tour of African American history.

It's usually presented at the center, but for schools which can't get downtown this month, it may be possible to have a travelling team pay a visit and do the program right in school.

You can learn about all this and more by visiting the National Constitution Center's website. You may also phone them at 215-409-6600.