The Black Gotham Experience welcomes you to our 2023 programming with our Spring Season themed Land of the Blacks.
Book Reading and Walk: The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatious Sancho| 5.5.23
The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho: A Reading
Join author and award-winning actor Paterson Joseph in conversation with Kamau Ware, founder of the Black Gotham Experience. These two friends will discuss Black art, ancestry, history and literature in an informal evening of joyful celebration. The evening will feature a book signing of Paterson’s first novel, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho. Afterward, Kamau will lead the Sarah’s Fire walk, where he and Paterson will continue their sharing with the circles assembled for the evening.
Charting the Archive of Ancestral Histories and Place | 5.10.23
How do we build an inclusive archive? What are some archival practices and tools for affecting repair, especially from the point of view of place? Join the conversation with artists Kamau Ware and Jennifer Jones, as they consider archival research methodologies, how they manifest in art practice, and how these expanded histories may be used to create futures.
When: Wed, May 10, 2023, 06:00 PM – 07:30 PM
Where: The James Gallery
Building HueSpaces: The Legacy of Black Communities Built and Sustained | 5.11.23
Museum Hue is celebrating Building HueSpaces by having a day-long convening with speakers throughout the day that will highlight the vast efforts inpreserving Black communities throughout the five boroughs. Focusing on the sustainability of arts, cultural organizations and the continued growth of our communities.
When: Thursday, May 11th, 2023 from 9am-5pm
Where: 158 Buffalo Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
Educators Workshop with Black Gotham Experience:Pedagogy Outside the Classroom | 5.17.23
Join the New Museum as they partner with Black Gotham Experience, to create a fun and interactive scavenger hunt around the museum to find real world connections that allow you to travel back in time to tap into history and identity to cultivate enjoyable learning experiences for students.
When: Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 at 4pm
Where: 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Moving Chains Toward Abolition: Creative Time x Black Gotham Experience | 5.21.23
Creative Times and Governors Island have partnered with Black Gotham Experience to walk the River Years, a pathway chosen by founder Kamau Ware, exploring the colonial patterns that have informed a centuries-long relationship with what are known today as the East River, Hudson River and New York Harbor. RSVP required linked below Listen to our audio walking tour River Years here.
Sarah’s Fire | 5.24.23
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.
Caesar’s Rebellion | 5.25.23
The third of five in the core stories of the Black Gotham Experience starts in 1712 in the wake of more slave codes passed in British New York. The port city of New York has shifting political and class divisions that shape the environment of the enslaved leading up to the 1730s. Although stricter laws have been passed to limit Black life, the population of enslaved Africans continues to increase as does poor European indentures creating a large and loosely organized underclass that seek change. The result is a rebellion in 1741 known as “the Great Negro Plot” which is documented in a New York Supreme Court. The extensive journal by one of the justices stitches together a plot that evolved around a charismatic enslaved Black figure named Caesar. This journal gives an insightful look into slavery, colonial law, class, and politics.
NERDY THURSDAYS | 5.25.23 | Black Land
NERDY THURSDAYS | 6.1.23 | Gardening
Other Side of Wall Street| 6.3.23
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.
NERDY THURSDAYS | 6.8.23 | Black Celebrations
Drink and Draw | 6.9.23
Join BGX for our first Spring Season 2023 Drink & Draw lead by founder Kamau Ware: An evening of curated creative downtime welcome to all drawers and creatives alike. Wine and supplies will be provided. Tickets required, linked below
Seeding Ceremony| 6.10.23
Join BGX for our Spring Season 2023 Seeding Ceremony, Plant Ancestors: Gardening to Nuture and Liberate lead by farmer-educator-artist Sawdayah Brownlee.
In this workshop we will reconnect with a few plant Ancestors (plants prominent in the cultures of the African Diaspora) and learn how to cultivate them in our communities from seed. The plants we’ll work with come from the communities of three important women in the fight for liberation that were farmers/herbalists: Queen Nanny of the Maroons (Jamaica), Harriet Tubman (U.S.), and Mama Tingó (the Dominican Republic). In reconnecting with them and sowing their seeds we challenge ourselves to grow, adapt when necessary, and stay connected to one another as the plants do. We’ll also learn how to care for the seeds as they grow in hopes of a bountiful harvest that nourishes us and supports our self-determination. Tickets required, linked below
– Sawdayah Brownlee
NERDY THURSDAYS | 6.15.23 | JUNETEENTH
Kuzaliwa | 6.17.23
Kuzaliwa is a suite of creative works by the Black Gotham Experience that reflect upon the legacies of the Harlem Renaissance in the twenty-first century. Grounded by physical spaces in Harlem, connections within African diasporic culture Kuzaliwa emphasizesnoting the relevance of Black creativity and political awakening on the island of Manhattan. In this tour we highlight Harlem as a space of flourishing Black culture and artistry unbounded by the narrow confines of historic eras. In naming this celebration “Kuzaliwa,” a Swahili word meaning “birth,” we also embrace Harlem as a place of encounter and imagination for thinkers and artists from across the African Diaspora.
Spring Keynote : Reclaiming Land | 6.20.23
BGX wraps the Spring Season on the edge of the Summer Solstice with a keynote by Kamau Ware. Reclaiming Land explores our Spring theme, Land of the Blacks, investigating how we reclaim place with a future-forward lens. Join us for a special rooftop experience with lite bites and an open bar serving both signature alcohol and non-alcoholic cocktails. Good vibes and magic hour views included.