At a time when 150 characters or less can make some feel powerful and others powerless, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (MARP) is giving residents an unfiltered and unfettered challenge to use their words:
The challenge is an interactive exhibition, part of the 8th annual Black Artstory Month 2020: Some Words.
Speak them, shout them, chant then, write them, print them, tag them, sing them, but whatever you do, don’t bite your tongue!
The installation Some Words kicked off on January 1, a part of MARP’s signature Black History Month programming— a series of 20 events, art installations and digital interventions from over 30 local artists in Fort Greene & Clinton Hill that celebrate the legacy of Black creativity and the power of words.
Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have long-held space for Black artists and activists that creatively and courageously wielded their words in pursuit of a higher cause: In the 1890s, civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells relocated to nearby Gold Street, being mentored by Brooklyn’s own Dr. Susan McKinney, where she continued her mission to share SOME WORDS on the necessity of civil, suffrage and anti-lynching rights for Blacks in the U.S that sparked political awareness and upheavals.
In the 1930s from a park bench in Fort Greene, Richard Wright wrote SOME WORDS that redirected conversations about systemic racism. Starting in the 1950s, Little Anthony and the Imperials sung SOME WORDS that inspired countless generations of musicians after to remake and remix them.
Throughout the 1990s native young sons and daughters from Black Star to Biggie Smalls to Lil’ Kim spit SOME WORDS on street corners, rising to fame, changing the game, and inspiring generations to follow.
Black Artstory Month 2020 honors that legacy while thinking critically about SOME WORDS in our present and future.
AT A GLANCE
Here are some ways you can participate in Black Artstory Month 2020:
- ATTEND an event (full list of events)
- VIEW visual art installations (full exhibition list)
- WALK on the self-guided Black Artstory walking tour
- LISTEN to the SOME WORDS playlist (available on Spotify)
- READ a book from the SOME WORDS reading list
Check out the programming which continues through the end of February:
Feb 11 3pm-5pm | Film Screening
Do The Right Thing, at the Walt Whitman Library Branch, 93 St. Edwards Street
Feb 21 11am-1pm | Future Historical Society
This multi-generational collective of Fort Greene neighbors leads this interactive storytelling and history-collecting installation, at Fort Greene SNAP, 324 Myrtle Avenue. The Future Historical Society is a community storytelling project commissioned by BRIC.
Feb 21 7pm | OUR WORDS
Performances, installation and video projection combine to create space for Black LGBTSTGNC stories curated by ourselves. Produced by Acacia Rodriguez in partnership with the Audre Lorde Project. At Bldg92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue | RSVP HERE
Feb 22 2pm-4pm | “As Told” / “We Live Here”
Community elders provide a different kind of history lesson by discussing their contributions to these two published collections of local histories – As Told and We Live Here – in this panel as part of BRIC’s Stoop Share program, at BRIC, 647 Fulton Street.
Feb 28 6:30pm | CLOSING WORDS
All are invited to our closing reception to celebrate, build community, and meet the month’s participating artists. Featuring artworks by Steven Mosley and Jose Baez, music, and spoken word performances, at Putnam’s, 419 Myrtle Avenue (lower level) | RSVP HERE
Various dates + locations | COMMUNICAE: THE AVE
This traveling performance program will visit barbershops and salons throughout the month to celebrate African Americans who call Myrtle their living room. Presented by Tai Allen.
Download the map of installations here.