Weeksville Wednesdays

In alignment with our commitment to providing a convening place and sanctuary for residents of Central Brooklyn, our doors remain open each Wednesday with extended hours as we host local organizations and Black creatives who are leading community organizing efforts, providing much-needed services, or outlets for artistic expression in our community.

 

THE LEGACY PROJECT:

Social Media Archiving

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Gone are the days of photo albums. Today, its all about Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

In this workshop, led by Weeksville's Oral History Manager Obden Mondesir, participants learned how to move into the future of archiving. We explored tips for preserving precious photographs stored on social media accounts and drafted plans to implement these techniques in order to save personal and family history that lives online.

THE LEGACY PROJECT:

Re-covering Stories

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In this event highlighting our Public Training Workshop Series, participants discovered how to create authentic and vulnerable connections between listening and storytelling. Through group partnered exercises led by Oral historian Sady Sullivan, we deconstructed how we listen, formulated our stories, and explored how both can be utilized as empowering tools. This event included 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.

 

THE LEGACY PROJECT:

Digital Collage + Mixed Media Storytelling

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How can we use digital collaging to innovatively share our legacies?

Digital Collage offers the chance to explore different creative alternatives. In this workshop led by visual artist Elise Peterson we learned how to make thoughtful, practical, and artistic collages that reconstruct personal and family memories while taking into consideration concepts such as balance, composition and art direction.

FROM AFRICA TO WEEKSVILLE:

Closing Reception

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From July 12 through September 28, we presented “From Africa To Weeksville: The Eric Edwards Collection,” an exhibition of rare artifacts on loan from The Cultural Museum of African Art, The Eric Edwards Collection, one of the largest collections of African art in the United States amassed by an African American.

The exhibition highlighted the history and background on artifacts from 17 countries on the African continent and, through its narrative and programmatic extensions, drew explicit connections between the cultural practices of those countries and the people, both free and formerly enslaved, who built the community of historic Weeksville.

 

Radical Black Mothering

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We launched our 2018-2019 season rooted in the themes of Race and Reproduction. For September, we centered Black lifegivers and affirmed that Black mamas indeed matter. What does Black motherhood look like in 2018? With hatred bubbling back to the surface, how are we teaching our children about justice and equity? In what ways are we honoring our children's queerness or our own? Is a work-life balance possible in a country run on capitalism? What tools are needed to support and mold a radical Black child?

Brooklyn-based writer Ashley Simpo's story on Huffington Post about co-mothering with her best friend inspired this event and we were elated to have her moderate the evening's community conversation.

Race, Reproduction and Dismantling the Legacy of Marions Sims

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This community conversation on public monuments and symbolic justice focused on the events leading to removal of the Marion Sims statue to Greenwood Cemetery, the violence of the racialized history of gynecology in the United States, debates about public monuments and its symbolic/artistic interpretations. The panel looked at the changing legacy of the three known enslaved women: Anarcha Weston, Lucy, and Betsey that were experimented on by Dr. Sims and the future recognition of these women.

Panelists included Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens, artist Doreen Garner, and activist Jewel Cadet. The evening was moderated by scholar Nicole Ivy.

 

Weeksville x SafeWordSociety: Can We Talk IRL?

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Presented as part of SafeWordSociety's CREATE COLLAB VYBE Workshop Series. Participants in this very special Weeksville Wednesday got to participate in a Visibility Pack Learning Lab, fostering a discussion about inclusivity and empowerment.

SafeWordSociety is a QTPOC+ visibility company dedicated to amplifying the voices of LGBTQIA+ people of color. They work to spotlight members and allies of our community to ensure that authentic narratives reach even the most vulnerable among us.

Weeksville x New York African Film Fest: Footprints of Pan-Africanism

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In honor of our exhibition, "From Africa to Weeksville: The Eric Edwards Collection", we presented this film in collaboration with the New York African Film Festival as part of their 25th Anniversary season. As Ghana fought to shed the dominance of Britain in the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement was erupting in the US. Intertwining the struggles of the Diaspora and Africa, "Footprints of Pan-Africanism" remembers these powerful bonds that were so crucial for this era to the center of its work.

Following the film, Sun Song's Naima Nur led a community conversation that helped us unfurl Weeksville's pan-African roots reaching back 160 years in the form of resident Henry Highland Garnett's African Civilization Society which called for the unification of the diaspora and repatriation back to Africa.

 

Righteous Rage: Using Anger as a Tool of Liberation

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In the spirit of social justice, the Take Action Center was a hub where people could share ideas, learn new skills and exchange information on how to take community action. On Wednesday evenings, the Take Action Center invited community leaders to host a teach in geared around three themes: emancipation, entrepreneurship, & empowerment with the goal of transforming bystanders to upstanders.

The evening pictured above was moderated by Janelle Naomi

UNAPOLOGETICALLY BLACK WEEK | Black Men Dream

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For the second evening of Unapologetically Black Week, we invited Black men to a much needed night to engage and heal by sharing stories and discussing the nuances of emotions, trauma, sexuality, while being Black and male in a society where you'are often seen as target. This intergenerational community gathering was anchored by an incredible short film, “Black Men Dream,” by Shikeith Cathey.

The moderator for the evening's community conversation was Antonio Johnson of "You Next".

 

Women of Weeksville Gather

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The Business of Black Music

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This intergenerational community conversation honored the women that have come before us, who we are today, and the ones yet to be born. Moderated by Monica Montgomery Nyathi, Strategic Director of Museum Hue, the evening celebrated our wins, calling upon our ancestral mothers, healing, and good ol' fashioned girl talk.

Special guests included Amber Finney and Jeannell Anthony of Brown Girl Alchemy, Kristen McCallum of Safeword Society, and Chanel L. Porchia- Albert of Ancient Song Doula Services.

In honor of Black Music Month, we gathered to discuss the state of Black music, our presence across all genres, and the impact of the digital era on the music industry. Visitors got a behind-the-scenes peek into the making of the soundtrack to our lives through our esteemed panel of industry insiders.

Panelists included noted journalist Richardine Bartree, editor in chief of okayplayer.com and OkayAfrica.com Rachel Hislop, accomplished media professional Tiara Hargave, DJ/Producer Twelve45, Columbia Records' Digital Marketing Director Danielle McDowell, and Sony Music's International Marketing Manager Chanel Auguste.

 

Black History Month Trivia

Black History buffs came flex their knowledge at Black History Month Trivia Night!  From film to geography, sports to music, we are pulling from every nook of the diaspora for a night of fellowship, fun, and some healthy competition.

Black History buffs came flex their knowledge at Black History Month Trivia Night!

From film to geography, sports to music, we are pulling from every nook of the diaspora for a night of fellowship, fun, and some healthy competition.

Medicine For Melancholy

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Valentine's Day 2018, in collaboration with Black Film Space, Weeksville screened the ultimate Black millennial dating film, Barry Jenkins' first feature, "Medicine for Melancholy". Twenty-four hours after their one-night stand, we'll follow a twosome who find themselves at the intersection of casual hookups, race, and gentrification.

The evening opened with two shorts from Black Film Space. A community conversation about love, relationships, and sex led by Life With JRDN of Dating in NYC podcast to followed immediately the screening.

 

 

ARTS.BLACK Artist Talk: DeForrest Brown Jr.

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Jessica Lynne, editor of ARTS.BLACK,  was in conversation with DeForrest Brown, music theorist and writer behind Absent Personae, an ambient multi-media project giving sound to the Black experience.

'Absent Personae' is a collaboration between Liverpool-based sound artist, Jon Davies aka Kepla, and New York-based media theorist and music writer, DeForrest Brown Jr. Following in the style of verbatim theater, Brown – through private recordings in various urban public environments – recalls a palpable though unseen trauma while wading amidst Davies’ digital processing of found social media audio. The result is a psychopolitical meditation on Black America as a (de)territorialized subject.