PHILADELPHIA, PA.-August 16th begins a series of lectures that will concentrate on exploring the various connections between Ancient African civilizations and the world today. In direct support of our mission, the Franklin Institute is committed to presenting programs that reflect both established processes and principles of science, as well as exploration of current work in new and emerging fields.
“Openness to inquiry and discussion is at the very heart of The Franklin Institute’s long-standing mission,” said Dennis Wint, President & CEO of The Franklin Institute. “It is our hope that by approaching these issues from a scientific perspective focusing on the relationship between science and our community, we will contribute to an ongoing dialogue.”
August 16, 2007 – “The Peopling of Ancient Egypt: Indigenous African Civilization, Pharaoh Tutankhamun and his Family.” Five recognized experts in African cultures will present their findings and perspectives based upon their years of scholarly exploration and research. The panel will consist of: Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor & Chair, Dept. of Black Studies at California State University; Dr. Charles Finch III, Director of Int’l Health at Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Theophile Obenga, Professor of Egyptology at San Francisco State University; Dr. Asa Hilliard III, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University; Philadelphia’s own Dr. Molefi Asante, Professor, African American Studies, Temple University.
November, 2007 – “Together Out of Africa” – Themed to complement the IDENTITY exhibition, coming to The Franklin Institute November 16th, this lecture will explore the identity and origins of man. Dr. Spencer Wells, Explorer in Residence at National Geographic Society and Director of the Genographic Project, the largest survey of human genetic diversity ever undertaken, will lecture on his finding—that through genetic market testing, all of humanity is descended from a small African population. Over a timeline dating back only 60,000 years, Africans populated the rest of the world, as branches to that original family tree.
January, 2008 -- “The Identity of Black Philadelphia” – With a population of 650,000 African Americans in Philadelphia County alone, and as a complement to the IDENTITY exhibition, a panel will explore the question of what being black in Philadelphia has meant historically, what it means today and what it might mean to our future. The IDENTITY exhibit covers three different areas of identity – physical, psychological and cultural – and seeks to challenge visitors to see themselves and others from new perspectives. The panel will posit the same set of inquiries in specific to the black experience in Philadelphia.
June, 2008 – “ The Slave Ship Whydah” – REAL PIRATES: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WHYDAH FROM SLAVE SHIP TO PIRATE SHIP is the Summer, 2008 exhibit from Arts & Exhibitions International and National Geographic Society, the organizations that brought Philadelphia “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.” The Whydah, discovered and salvaged by world famous underwater explorer, Barry Clifford, initially set sail from England for West Africa to carry human cargo to the Caribbean. Before its first voyage was complete, it was waylaid by pirate captain, “Black” Sam Bellamy, and the ship became a multi-cultural pirate vessel until it sank in a story in 1717 off the coast of Provincetown.
May 25-September 27, 2009 – “RACE: Are We So Different?” – A series of lectures, floor activities and panel discussions will be presented in conjunction with this exhibition, which encourages dialogue on the charged issue of race in America from a contemporary, scientific perspective. To science, the differences among us are minimal -- natural variations, the results of migration, marriage and adaptation to different environments. In fact, variation within a race is as marked as that among different races.