A new exhibition honoring Black lives lost to racial injustice in the United States will open this month in New York City’s historical Seneca Village, once home to a thriving black community that was displaced by the city to make way for Central Park in the 1850s. Presented by the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA), the Say Their Names Memorial Exhibition is a month-long augmented reality experience debuting on Saturday, September 17 at West 85th Street in Central Park.
black lives matter
Photo by Peter Cooper
The Public Theater will debut this week a new art installation that honors Black American lives lost to police brutality. Starting November 11, the facade of the East Village theater will display “SAY THEIR NAMES,” a visual exhibit that includes at least 2,200 names of Black people killed at the hands of police between 2013 and 2020. Curated by Garlia Cornelia Jones, the projection covers the entire building at 425 Lafayette and features work by ten artists.
Photo courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office
First announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a celebration of Juneteenth last month, giant murals spelling out Black Lives Matter have been popping up across New York City, with the streets also officially co-named after the movement. There are eight large-scale murals total: Centre Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in Manhattan, Richmond Terrace on Staten Island, 153rd Street in Queens, Joralemon and Fulton Streets in Brooklyn, Morris Avenue in the Bronx, and on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower.
All photos by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
After announcing last month that he’d be painting “Black Lives Matter” in front of Trump Tower, Mayor de Blasio today helped paint the mural in bright yellow letters outside the building on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. “Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand, let’s paint it right in front of his building for him,” the mayor said today.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday unveiled the five streets that will be painted with a “Black Lives Matter” mural. The large artwork will be designed along Centre Street in Manhattan, Richmond Terrace on Staten Island, Joralemon Street in Brooklyn, 153rd Street in Queens, and Morris Avenue in the Bronx. Earlier this month, the mayor said the streets will also be renamed after the movement, in addition to the street painting. A similar mural dedicated to Black Lives Matter was painted on Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy last weekend.
Juneteenth has been observed by African Americans nationwide for more than 150 years as a celebration of the day enslaved Black people were liberated in the United States. This year, as Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue across New York City, the holiday takes on special significance as a day of action, reflection, and education. New York officials are recognizing the weight of the anniversary by making Juneteenth an official state holiday and a city holiday, set to be observed by public schools next year. Although the festivals and cookouts of the past are on hold this year in light of the coronavirus, there are many virtual and socially distanced events happening across the city, from a digital day of dance to a cyclist-led Freedom Ride.
The Black Lives Matter movement has strong roots in New York City, and with this in mind, 6sqft has put together a list of books about or related to New York City, all by Black authors. Including fiction and nonfiction, our list includes classics like Paule Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time to contemporary works like Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age and Elaine Welteroth’s More Than Enough.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed an executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees and said he will introduce legislation to make it an official New York State holiday next year. Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States in 1865 and is celebrated annually on June 19.
The Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow in New York City and across the country, with many people looking to get involved, whether it’s donating to antiracist organizations or studying the history of the black experience in America. Another direct action New Yorkers can take to support the black community today is shopping at black-owned businesses. Lists and guides have popped up online in the last few weeks to bring attention to these mom and pop shops, with detailed resources from Black-Owned Brooklyn and this spreadsheet created by New Yorker food critic Hannah Goldfield. The app Eat Okra, which launched three years ago, is also a helpful resource that highlights most of the black-owned restaurants in NYC, which according to Eater, includes more than 2,500 restaurants. Ahead, we break down some of the best black-owned restaurants, cafes, and bars in every borough. It is no means a comprehensive list and we encourage our readers to share with us additional places to include.
Book cover photos courtesy of NYPL
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow across the country, take this opportunity to learn more about the experience of black Americans. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on Tuesday released a list of 95 books that foster a greater understanding of black history and culture. The Black Liberation Reading List was curated by Schomburg staff and focuses on works by black writers and scholars.