On February 9, 2019, A Blade of Grass partnered with Weeksville Heritage Center to offer a special edition of Weeksville Weekends for Black History Month. A Blade of Grass Fellow Jordan Weber presented his project 4 Malcolm X Greenhouse, centered around a greenhouse he built on the foundation of Malcolm X’s birth home in North Omaha, Nebraska. Inspired by Malcolm X’s legacy of self-empowerment and determination, the project provides a space for the North Omaha community to grow food and medicinal plants, engage in spiritual and contemplative practices, and to transform poverty and pollution into sustainable economies. A community conversation hosted by Weber, Weeksville Heritage Center staff, and Weeksville Artists-in-Residence Keith and Mendi Obadike followed. Watch the conversation below, preceded by music from Sheps Hetep Ancestral Music and a salah prayer led by Musa Bryant.
Audiences were also invited to stay all day to experience interactive sessions with other NYC-based initiatives doing similar work.
|11:45||Ocean drum healing sound demonstration with Sheps Hetep Ancestral Music|
|12:15||Salah prayer session led by Musa Bryant|
|12:30||Opening statements & history of Malcolm X in Brooklyn by Weeksville educator Zenzele Cooper; presentation of "4MX Greenhouse" by Jordan Weber, followed by community conversation with Weber, Keith and Mendi Obadike & Weeksville staff|
|1:30||Presentation on unearthing ancestral plant medicine with Moon Mother Apothecary founder Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, followed by a tea tasting & market|
|Guided meditation sessions on undoing racism with Brooklyn Zen Center. *The 2:00 session will be a meditation for people of color (POC). Both POC and active allies are welcome to attend the 2:30 session.|
|House tours of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses at Weeksville|
|Studio Squared: Intention Beading Workshop with The Black School—The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Black School co-present two intention beading workshops inviting participants to string intention beads inspired by Malcolm X's legacy of community healing and self-determination. These workshops offer a space to create tangible objects that hold the promise of intentional future actions.|
|4:00||DanceAfrica community dance workshop|
|5:10||365 Days of Black Resilience—Honoring and embodying the humanity and value of Black life is a lifelong investment that needs all of us. Adaku Utah of Harriet's Apothecary will host a session to share and explore resilience practices to honor Black lives, from abolition to deep impactful listening, to getting in right relationship with the Earth and so much more.|
|6:00||Ocean drum healing sound demonstration with Sheps Hetep Ancestral Music|
On view at Weeksville was the exhibition Mendi + Keith Obadike: Utopias. Between 1830 and 1970 African-Americans created many independent communities across the United States. These thriving places, including the historic Weeksville, Brooklyn (est. 1830), served as havens for citizens and incubators for Black artists, scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs. For this project the Obadikes traveled across the country recording ambient sounds from Black towns. They used these recordings to create installations using fragments of African-American songs that express this desire for a utopian city.
A Blade of Grass public programs are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.