As part of the Mayor’s Grant for Cultural Impact administered through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Commission partnered with Weeksville Heritage Center on a project focusing on collecting stories of Black community spaces and Black-owned businesses in the face of gentrification and neighborhood change. The effort, Meals as Collective Memory, documented the social and culinary history behind Black-owned restaurants in central Brooklyn.
Through this project, the Commission celebrated Central Brooklyn’s food culture, which itself is representative of the African diaspora. The partnership created opportunities to collect and document histories, elevate local business, share delicious food, and build connections between local government resources and Black-owned restaurants and entrepreneurs in Brooklyn. This initiative culminated in the Commission’s first-ever Juneteenth Community Festival which honored the rich history of Black activism in Brooklyn and beyond.
Read the press release on the grant and partnership.
Community members join for an Oral History Listening Party.
A Conversation on Food and Place with food writers Nikita Richardson and Ligaya Mishan.
Chef Cheryl Smith and Historian Tonya Hopkins lead a discussion at our Meals as Collective Memory Community Dinner.
Current and future Black entrepreneurs join for an evening of professional community capacity building with Black-Owned Brooklyn.
A performance by Asase Yaa (Mother Earth) at our Juneteenth Community Festival.
The Weeksville Heritage Center is a multidisciplinary museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn - one of America’s many free black communities.
Weeksville’s mission is to document, preserve and interpret the history of free African American communities in Weeksville, Brooklyn and beyond and to create and inspire innovative, contemporary uses of African American history through education, the arts, and civic engagement. Using a contemporary lens, they activate this unique history through the presentation of innovative, vanguard and experimental programs.
Learn more at weeksvillesociety.org