Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and the Patriots of African Descent Monument

illustration, candle, lantern, virtual march-in
Virtual March-In programming, December 14-19, 2020.

NPS Image / Gregory Purifoy

Welcome to Virtual March-In!

We are commemorating the 243rd anniversary of the arrival of the weary Continental Army to Valley Forge with a whole week of featured activities and videos like this one!

Black Patriots

Black people joined the fight against the British even before the official formation of the Continental Army, yet Congress did not authorize their recruitment until January 1776.1

Each unit commander determined whether he would accept Black enlistments. Even with these restrictions, Black people continued to fill both military and civilian support roles. Many fought in fully integrated units, which would not occur again until the Korean War, about 170 years later.

On December 19, 1777, Salem Poor, Agrippa Hull, Cato Bannister, and other Black Patriots marched into Valley Forge with the rest of the Continental Army. Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park honors the contributions of Black soldiers and is home to the Patriots of African Descent Monument, which was erected in 1993 due to the efforts of Delta Sigma Theta, Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter. Learn more about Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., the Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter, and the story of the monument in this interview with Sorors Paulette Jones and Deanna Shelton.

1“Hull, Agrippa,” African American Lives, eds. Henry Louis Gates Jr., Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 425.

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29 minutes, 10 seconds

Paulette Jones and Deanna Shelton from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. discuss how their Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter worked to raise funds and erect the Patriots of African Descent Monument at Valley Forge National Historical Park in order to raise awareness of the contributions of Black Patriots during the American Revolution.

Click to view on YouTube!


Last updated: April 20, 2021

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