The Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Patriots of African Descent Monument Saturday at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

The monument, which pays tribute to the more than 5,000 black soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War, was erected in 1993 as part of a project spearheaded by the sorority. Delta Sigma Theta is a community service organization comprised mostly of college-educated black women.

"What do you say about Africans who served in the military when they were not even accepted as human beings," said Sherry Wilson Butler, chapter president. "I look at them as heroes among heroes."

Sorority member Martha Russell led the monument effort after reading a book about the black revolutionaries by historian Charles Blockson.

The sorority raised $100,000 for the monument which was erected on the spot where the Rhode Island regiment, a band of 400 black soldiers, encamped during the winter of 1777-1778.

The monument was designed by artist Cal Massey and sculpted by Phil Sumpter.

A wreath laying ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. A luncheon will follow at 11:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel. For information: email

The monument is located on Route 23 across from the Washington Memorial Chapel.

-- Kristin E. Holmes