The Legacy Project
Weeksville Heritage Center’s The Legacy Project stands for the freedom and right to know, document, and defend one’s own history. Since its emergence in 1838, when James Weeks — a free man — purchased land that would become one of the largest known independent Black communities in pre-Civil War America, Weeksville has represented a space of self-reliance, resourcefulness, transformation, collaboration, celebration, and liberation of Black persons in America.
The Legacy Project stands as a 21st-century interpretation of that self-determining history. Inspired by the autonomy of the Black 19th century historic Weeksville community and the resilience of the 1960s activists and local historians who rediscovered it, we keep this legacy alive and vibrant for future generations. Through our public programming, public training, and internship program for students of color, we offer intentional and inviting spaces to explore the personal, familial, and communal layers of this legacy as well as of your own.
This project is supported by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Mellon Foundation, and the Kenan Charitable Trust.
Digital Collage w: Elise Peterson
1pm - 4:30pm
How can we share our family history in the 21st century?!
This two-part workshop will offer tools and strategies to guide participants in the process of weaving their genealogy and family history into a digital story. Final projects contributed by participants will have an opportunity to be archived in the WHC Resource Center. A. Nia Austin-Edwards and Timothy Veit Jones of PURPOSE Productions will lead the workshop.
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Come learn how to use digital collaging to innovatively share your legacy!
In this workshop, led by visual artist Elise Peterson, we will learn how to make thoughtful, practical, and artistic collages by reconstructing personal and family memories. While keeping in mind basic concepts such as balance, composition and art direction, we’ll utilize Photoshop for creative exercises, learn how to cut and modify images, and explore other techniques.
6:30pm – 8:30pm
In this event highlighting our Public Training Workshop Series, participants will discover how to create authentic and vulnerable connections between listening and storytelling. Through group partnered exercises, we will deconstruct how we listen, formulate our stories, and explore how both can be utilized as empowering tools. This event will also include a performance by researcher Erika Lively based on her pilgrimage to the site where her great-grandmother was a Black homesteader in the southeastern plains of Colorado during the late nineteenth century.
Archives for Black Lives
OCTOBER 27TH | 11AM - 5PM
Rooted in perseverance and self-documentation, this hands-on, intergenerational event will gather Black memory workers from around the nation to explore the purpose and need of Archives for Black Lives.
Do you or your folks have a special or important physical photo of yourself, your family, or your community that you don't know what to do with? Do you know the story or memory behind that photo?!
Well bring it with you to this event and we'll give you some ideas and tips through our interactive storytelling and communal digitization workspaces. And we'll share some resources for you to take home too!
A tour of the historic Hunterfly Road Houses and a fulfilling meal will also be offered during this free event.
July 5th | 6:30pm - 8:30pm
In 1827, Black New Yorkers began to observe the 5th of July as a way to safely celebrate their recent emancipation while quietly critiquing America’s Independence Day. This celebration is annually acknowledged at WHC and became the namesake of our 5th of July Resource Center for Self-Determination & Freedom. This year, Ebony Noelle Golden of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative will help us honor this history with 125th & FREEdom. This choreopoetic ritual performance explores migration, gentrification, emancipation, and cultural resilience.
JUNE 24TH | 11am - 5:30pm
Together we will explore the historical, cultural, and social life of food in Black communities. Young people can come learn all about seeds, and even plant some in small pots to take home! Adults are welcome too! Our culinary celebration with Chef Jeneé Grannum is not to be missed! She’s creating a delicious plant-based meal featuring recipes and ingredients highlighting the rich culinary history of the African diaspora.
The afternoon's presentations and intergenerational conversations will be facilitated by Tanya Fields from The BLK Projek with Yemi Amu from Oko Farms and Paul Philpott from Gateway Greens.
June 17th | 12pm - 6pm
What memories do you carry within your body?
Embodying Archives is a conceptual framework that describes the memories we carry genetically, spiritually, and physically in our blood and bones. Please join us for an exploration of this concept through performances, discussions, and communal movement. Participating artists will include: Monstah Black, Brother(hood) Dance!, Trae Harris, Joyce LeeAnn, and Taja Lindley. We will also offer a yummy meal and a tour of the historic Hunterfly Road Houses during this event.
Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and come move with us!