The Legacy Project

The Legacy Project is a continuum of James Weeks’ self-determining actions. Upon the purchasing of land in 1838, Weeks, a freedman, initiated what became the second largest known independent Black community in pre-Civil War America. A deeply engaged community, Weeksville residents established their own school, orphanage, cemetery, old age home, benevolent society, one of the rest African- American newspapers, and even their own churches.

All but forgotten until the late 1960’s, urbanization threatened to erase the physical memory by destroying the few remaining homes. In 1968, a small group of community activists rediscovered these four dilapidated houses that were rare residential remnants of historic Weeksville. is rediscovery led to the restoration of the Hunterfly Road Houses, and the formalization of the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History, later known as Weeksville Heritage Center.

WHC is a living monument to African American freedom and self-determination. Weeksville advances its mission through history, preservation, visual and performing arts, ecology, and the built environment.

The Legacy Project will continue this evolution through activating WHC’s archives, building annual public programs, public training workshops, and an internship program for students of color. We see the participation of our larger community as vital to honoring the spirit of James Weeks’ initial actions and sustaining WHC’s mission. We invite you to join in the heralding of our legacy together.


This project is supported by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Mellon Foundation, and the Kenan Charitable Trust.


Building on a Legacy: Youth in Action!

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February 17th |  12pm - 4pm

Calling all young people! We want to hear from you!

If you were to save a memory of yourself, your family, or your community what would it be? 

Would it be the time you went to your first sleepover at your best friend’s house? How about the Christmas you spent with your cousins in Florida? Or maybe the summer block parties where you run through the water from the fire hydrants or dance in the middle of the street?