The Black Gotham Experience returns with our Fall Season. Welcome to BGX Fall 2022.

The BGX Fall Season 2022 is themed on As Above So Below, the ancient African wisdom about polarity, that what happens on higher realms happens in lower realms. In the BGX Universe, this reference also considers how the lives of Black people in colonial Gotham mirror those of Black people in Gotham today. This will pay homage to the Black ancestral spirits of Gotham, invite community to consider their ancestors, and honor the elders who paved the way for the creation of the African Burial Ground and Triumph of the Human Spirit.

October 13th | Nerdy Thursdays “Black Spirituality” w/ Simone Small | 6:30-9:30pm | RSVP

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

Simone Small Gellizeau is an interfaith scholar-practitioner of mystic traditions. Born in Toronto to Guyanese and Bajan parents, Simone draws inspiration from syncretic religions of the Afro-Atlantic, particularly, Guyana’s Comfa tradition and its deliberate effort to be as ecumenical as possible. She has made part of her life’s work to acquire knowledge of all her ancestral spiritual traditions. Simone is currently pursuing a Masters Certificate in Metaphysical Christianity at the Johnnie Coleman Theological Seminary.

October 14th | Metal Point drawing workshop w/ Tamia Alston | 5:30-8:30pm | RSVP

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

Tamia is a Philadelphia-based Fine Artist and Illustrator. She is a draftsperson primarily working in Metalpoint and Pen & Ink.

Artist Statement: I see myself as a scribe. The record-keeping between the subject and I is the act of artmaking. As a scribe transcribing the spoken word, I too have an obligation to depict each subject with a sense of urgency and respect given that my time with them is ephemeral. The purpose of my work is to encapsulate the ways in which we work within and against the societal, artistic, and material confines we inevitably find ourselves in. As a scribe, each piece is a documentation, and the medium a vehicle for communication. My current practice explores Black Material Culture, what brought Black bodies to their place today, who played a role in objectifying us, and how we objectify ourselves. After researching and educating myself on this Material Culture, my pieces serve as a visual marker of each subject. I hope that my work creates a dialogue around how far we have come and how much left we have to go in working through identities we never created, yet were created in. These pieces are a meditative act on my identity, with each line a conversation with the history of Blackness.

October 15th | Citizen Hope Sail | 5:00-7pm

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

Citizen Hope is our forthcoming core BGX story. We are experimenting with this offering as a walk that includes a sail in the New York Harbor. 

October 20th | Nerdy Thursdays “As Above So Below” w/ Kamau Akabueze | 6:30-9:30pm | RSVP

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

Kamau is a creative professional whose strategic aperture has been galvanizing ideas, enhancing collaboration, transforming concepts and brand trajectory for decades across a diverse array of communication verticals. His essence is poured towards intentionally uplifting the creative spirit in all his endeavors. While Kamau’s insightful observations have been leveraged to the advantage of several companies, Kamau is most enlivened by inspiring collaborative breakthroughs with the creative beings he has supported, mentored, challenged, hired, fired, and opened portals of opportunity for. Kamau’s efforts and strategic ideas have often landed in the cultural zeitgeist. Kamau is the Father of a future Auto Racing Legend, a Wide Axis Photographer, a Biophilic Experience Curator, a Creative Careers Coach, and is the acting Chief Creative Officer at Civic Entertainment. He and his son explore the world on bicycles and trains as fuel for their understanding of humanity as they learn, laugh, and grow together.

October 27th | Nerdy Thursdays “Activism As Prism” w/ Dorian Harrington | 6:30-9:30pm | RSVP

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

Dorian Harrington is a native New Yorker, producer, and entrepreneur working in celebrity talent relations. He was a public educator at the African Burial Project from 2002-2004. Dorian will be in conversation about the activists that made the African Burial Ground Memorial a reality and the lessons we can learn from these elders. 

October 29th | Sarah’s Fire | 4-5:30pm | RSVP 

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

The second of five in the core stories of the Black Gotham Experience that starts in 1664 in the small town known as Land of the Blacks on day two of British New York. Sarah’s Fire is a tale set on the southern tip of the island Manhattan that is home to both free and enslaved Black people. This walking tour illustrates the peculiar universe of urban slavery in a port city with deep ties to the sugar plantations of the West Indies. A key persona in this story is an enslaved woman named Sarah who is one of 29 people that participate in the first militarized Black rebellion on the island of Manhattan that took place April 6th 1712.

November 3rd | Nerdy Thursdays “NORTHUP” with Kamau Ware & Kei Williams | 6:30-9:30pm | RSVP

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

NORTHUP is a forthcoming new audio program commissioned by the Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest surviving residence on the island of Manhattan. There, we enter the story of one 19th century resident of this mansion Anne Hampton Northup, a free Black woman. Anonymous to much of history, Anne was employed as a cook and lived there with her children when her husband Solomon Northup was kidnapped and enslaved in the South. This audio walk integrates Anne’s personal narrative, stories of her family, and the early history of New York State.

November 9th | Other Side of Wall Street x Manuel Plaza | 5:00-6:30pm | RSVP

Washington Square Park under the arch 

The first of five in the core stories of the Black Gotham Experience starts in 1643 with the beginning of a small town known as Land of the Blacks right outside the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. By 1655, the Land of the Blacks was over twice the size of SoHo today and it continued to exist after the English take the island from the Dutch, making it the first free Black community in New York. This walking tour explains how this community started and how it continued to exist into the 18th century. Other Side of Wall Street concludes on the first day of British New York in September 1664. We will end this walk at the new Manuel Plaza that opened summer 2022 that Black Gotham Experience was privileged to name in honor of the Land of the Blacks. 

November 10th | Nerdy Thursdays “FIGHTING DARK” | 6:30 – 9:30pm | RSVP

BGX Gallery 192 Front Street NY, NY 

FIGHTING DARK explores the story of Black New Yorkers who fled in the dark of night during the 1863 riots and those who enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War in what was called the “Colored Troops 20th Infantry” from New York City. The Shed commissioned Kamau Ware of Black Gotham Experience to create this digital audio and video tour to be in dialogue with the investigation of the legacy of racial violence in the United States in the exhibition Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water that premiered from October 16th 2020 to March 28th 2021.

 

 

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