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Media Contact

Morgan Lloyd, 

Co-Founder and President


Unveiling Untold Histories: Black Women and Youth Lead the Charge in 1838 Black Metropolis' National Recognition





(Philadelphia, PA) – Black woman led, local non profit  1838 Black Metropolis is dedicated to sharing untold and unknown Black histories.  Unique in the history field, this is a youth-led group; President Morgan Lloyd is 27 years old.  Alongside co-founder Michiko Quinones, they have proudly built a robust virtual community for dialogue and preservation.  They are the first Black history digital project in the state of Pennsylvania added to the National Park Service’s Reconstruction Network.  This acceptance, conferred on February 20, 2024, positions the 1838 Black Metropolis as an essential national presence within Black history sites, museums and cultural institutions.  They are the only place in the country that houses a digital copy of the 1838 Pennsylvania Abolition Census of the Black Population (with the permission of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania), making the site a useful genealogical source as well. 


Specializing in surfacing minimized or forgotten Black histories from the 1780-1880 period, they take a fresh new look at the archives, engage with descendent communities, conduct new archival research and bring history to the public in accessible ways. Seeking to lift the story out of books and journals, they conduct interactive public dialogues, digital training, and writing that everyday people can access and preservation efforts to recognize historic black sites in the city. 


An important aspect of their work is to make history interesting to younger people by guiding and foregrounding youth-led historical research. Current Mellon intern, Tyler Diaz (26) is presenting a fresh take on musician Frances Johnson by looking deeply at his connections in the Black community of Philadelphia, and previous Temple intern, Jordan Gibson (20),  discovered a new, secret,  Black-women’s mutual-aid society. 


Heading into the summer season, the 1838 Black Metropolis is planning a wide variety of activities including art activations, scholarly panels, walking tours, family events, and community conversations. 


The Philadelphia Black Metropolis is a city-within-a-city built by more than 20,000 free Black people in Philadelphia in 1838: The 1838 Philadelphia Black Metropolis. Cofounder Michiko explains “Our momentum is beyond the tours and includes all the activities we do to ignite a Black centered rewrite of early 19th century Black Philadelphia history and reach the largest population we can. Our tours were a way to launch into the public sphere, and now we say ‘let's redo this history’ because it's been hidden. And we do that through all aspects of our activations, on the website and within community.”


For the past 2 years, the 1838 Black Metropolis project has worked to combat historical erasure by partnering with cultural titans like The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The African-American Museum in Philadelphia, The National Park Service, and the School District of Philadelphia.  They advocate for awareness of the rich infrastructure, diverse social classes, deep networks and caring community of African-Americans in the antebellum era.  This environment was a space where many Freedom Seekers found the stability and sanctuary to build lives full of safety and freedom.  


About The 1838 Black Metropolis is a movement to reclaim, rewrite and restore suppressed or forgotten Black Histories. As a public history project, 1838 responds to the challenges of Black history erasure in our modern moment, by using digital art, informal education, presentations and programs to share perspectives and spark creative connections amongst people hungry to learn more about the Black presence in Philadelphia and the surrounding region from 1780-1880. 


Confounded - Morgan Lloyd & Michiko Quinones 


Board Members- Melvin Garrison, Monica Montgomery, Kirsten Lee, Michelle Flamer, Somala Diby


This project is supported by the the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Library of Company of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia, the National Park Service, the African-American museum in Philadelphia, 

Museum of the American Revolution.

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