c. Obed Obwoge

Alliance Debuts Adama Delphine Fawundu’s ‘Ancestral Whispers’

June 28, 2024

Prospect Park Alliance’s first ReImagine Lefferts Artist in Residence Adama Delphine Fawundu’s large-scale, site-specific installation, Ancestral Whispers is now on view at Lefferts Historic House.  

In 2021, the Alliance launched the ReImagine Lefferts initiative, funded through a Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation. The initiative seeks to re-envision the mission and programming of the museum to focus on exploring the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. By focusing on stories of resistance, resilience, empowerment and joy, while also recognizing the legacies of dispossession, enslavement and oppression, the Alliance seeks to create a safe space for engaging with our collective past as well as contemporary issues affecting our communities today.

Fawundu is a lifelong Brooklynite, photographer and visual artist whose work centers around themes of indigenization and ancestral memory, which earned her a 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship. “When the Alliance reached out it was so special because we were both on a specific trajectory. My whole existence is based in this neighborhood. The smell of the grass when it rains in the park means so much to me…I have such a history here. It felt very much like a 360 degree event to connect with the ReImagine team here in Prospect Park,” reflects Artist in Residence, Adama Delphine Fawundu on initial conversations with the Alliance.

For her commission, Fawundu created a large-scale, site-specific installation inspired by the research the Alliance conducted into the lives of Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. To date, the Alliance has identified 25 people enslaved at the house between its 1783 construction and the 1827 abolition of slavery in New York. Fawundu created 25 fabric banners that transform the house’s Flatbush Avenue facade, honoring the heroism of these Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. In addition, Fawundu’s 2020 video performance piece, In the Face of History Freedom Cape, filmed in part in Prospect Park and Lefferts Historic House, is on view.

“Art can be such a powerful tool for social justice, and for a dialogue about legacy, agency and creativity. When we have art in public spaces, we create meaningful opportunities for people to reflect on the beauty of the artwork in fellowship with other park users and with nature,” says Prospect Park Alliance President, Morgan Monaco. “Prospect Park Alliance welcomes the entire community to join us for the debut of our first Artist in Residence and the second season of our ReImagine Lefferts initiative, which has shifted our interpretation to tell these stories of resistance and resilience. It is my hope that visitors will see a version of themselves represented in this museum and feel seen, honored and welcome. The season is an especially significant one as we share Ancestral Whispers with our community, which celebrates the heroism of Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family, and leverages the power of art to heal deep-seated wounds from our nation’s past.”

5.30.24 Lefferts Reception, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Ancestral Whispers

Visit Ancestral Whispers at Lefferts Historic House June through September on Thursdays – Sundays at 12 pm to 5 pm or October through December 1 on Saturdays + Sundays at 12 pm to 4 pm.

c. Obed Obwoge

Prospect Park Alliance Unveils ReImagine Lefferts Interpretive Plan

June 11, 2024

Prospect Park Alliance has partnered with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA), designers of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture amongst many others globally, to create a new interpretive plan for the Lefferts Historic House museum that shifts the museum’s focus to explore the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family.

“As the Alliance’s first Black leader, I am honored to be ushering in this new interpretive plan and a new era of recognition and celebration of the stories and histories that have been ignored for centuries. Through this plan we seek to make the museum a place for healing and a forum for thoughtful dialogue and learning for our community,” said Morgan Monaco, Prospect Park Alliance President

“All of us at RAA are committed to creating public spaces that foster understanding and empathy. The Reimagine Lefferts initiative offers a unique chance to prioritize meaningful dialogue and reflection on essential but also evolving histories, in a set of special spaces designed to bring the city together in recognition of their significance,” said Nick Appelbaum, Ralph Appelbaum Associates President

In 2021, the Alliance launched the ReImagine Lefferts Initiative through a Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation. Through this initiative, the Alliance and RAA have developed an interpretive plan that will guide the Alliance in creating future exhibits and programming. The goal is to foster a safe and accessible space for engaging audiences with our collective past, as well as contemporary issues affecting descendant communities today. The plan is an ongoing and evolving roadmap for the museum, and was crafted from an intensive, year-long community engagement process that encompassed thousands of hours of conversation, insight, feedback and guidance from descendant communities, culture bearers, scholars, artists, civic leaders and museum professionals.

The descendant guidance we’ve received is essential,” said Dylan Yeats, Prospect Park Alliance ReImagine Lefferts Project Manager. “One of the most important things we learned throughout the process is the importance of ongoing partnerships with individuals and organizations already stewarding this living history, and it really is the brilliance, creativity and vision of our community partners that make this initiative a success.”

The interpretive plan is centered on a series of outdoor exhibits that engage park visitors. Upon entrance to the grounds, there will be large-scale panels curated by representatives from nations across the Lenape diaspora and a Dikenga Cosmogram that honors the ancient  wisdom Africans brought with them to the Americas. The plan also features public art, healing gardens, a Freedom-Seeker wall, and spaces for live events and programs that do not shy away from the history of dispossession and enslavement, but  emphasize and celebrate the inspirational resilience of descendant communities today and the ways their cultures endure. As a first step in the new interpretation, the Alliance has launched its first artist-in-residence, Adama Delphine Fawundu’s Ancestral Whispers.

Elements of the interpretive plan will be developed over the next year, and the Alliance’s work to solicit guidance from descendant communities to inform the future of the Lefferts Historic House will continue through events and other engagements. 

View the plan and learn more about Prospect Park Alliance’s ReImagine Lefferts Initiative. 

c. Obed Obwoge

Elevating Black Queer Ancestors: An Inside Look

June 7, 2024

Celebrate Pride with Prospect Park Alliance at the Lefferts Historic House on Thursday, June 13, for Elevating Black Queer Ancestors: a meaningful history-packed evening presented through the Alliance’s ReImagine Lefferts initiative. The event will be hosted by Lefferts Historic House ​​Public Programs Manager Riah Kinsey, who brings a colorful background and interest in Black queer history. Learn more about Riah’s work to delve into the histories of Black queer ancestors and get a sneak peak at the stories that will be shared at the event. 

RSVP for Elevating Black Queer Ancestors.

Riah Kinsey pictured outside of Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park

Riah Kinsey pictured outside of Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park c. Obed Obwoge

Riah started their journey into the history field through a passion for recovering the stories of marginalized people. While issues of race, gender and sexuality always formed the core of their scholarship, it was not until he began to consider their own identity that the focus of their work truly began to shift to center on Black queer lives.

Their interest in Black queer history was sparked in their university studies of historical archaeology. When tasked with searching through documents in preparation for an upcoming excavation, Kinsey encountered a will that forbade the sale or hire of an enslaved woman by her enslaver’s widow, which ensured her freedom upon the widow’s death.

“I realized that if there are historical documents that speak to the intimate lives and experiences of even the most marginalized inhabitants of the property we were excavating, then there could be documents that do the same for my own ancestors. And if there is this kind of documentation for my biological ancestors, then what about my spiritual ancestors: the Black, queer people who came before me?” Kinsey recalls.

“I quickly found that there is a necessity to think outside the box, both about where to look for information and about how to interpret findings. This need for creativity isn’t due to a comparative lack of information, or even a lack of quality information, but because the current frameworks for research and analysis were never designed to tell our stories.”

This desire to think creatively when tracing Black people’s lives through history, even when there are dead-ends in records, is exactly what interested Kinsey in the Alliance’s ReImagine Lefferts initiative, which seeks to explore the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands Prospect Park and Lefferts House rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. Kinsey is excited about instilling in others the range of careers, knowledge and meaning-making that are possible in the field of history, especially through events like Elevating Black Queer Ancestors

In preparation, Kinsey has pulled from a variety of uncommon archives in tracing key figures to highlight and honor. This includes Mary Jones, a Black, trans sex worker and pickpocket in antebellum New York. Mary is one of the first recorded gender non-conforming or transgender persons in America. Her life can be pieced together through newspapers, court records and contemporary tabloid literature, which documents countless arrests and incarcerations, many of which were a direct result of her refusal to present as a man. In one famous police interview, Mary was asked “How do you identify? Why do you dress like this? What is your background?” Kinsey explains that her answer was something along the lines of “I always dress like this amongst people of my own color,” which speaks to the experience of queer people of color finding community with each other at that time.

Pictured above is a source from Kinsey’s research on Mary. “The Man-Monster, Peter Sewally, alias Mary Jones &c&c. Sentenced 18th June 1836 to 5 years imprisonment at hard labor at Sing Sing for Grand Larceny. Published by H.R. Robinson.” Image courtesy The Smithsonian Institute. Despite its salacious title, the lithograph portrays Jones as an elegant Black woman.

“The Man-Monster, Peter Sewally, alias Mary Jones &c&c. Sentenced 18th June 1836 to 5 years imprisonment at hard labor at Sing Sing for Grand Larceny. Published by H.R. Robinson.” Image courtesy The Smithsonian Institute. Despite its salacious title, the lithograph portrays Jones as an elegant Black woman.

Many believe that Mary’s life story ends with her infamous 1836 incarceration for pickpocketing. Kinsey however dug deeper to find she was arrested an additional 12 times, and often imprisoned further following these arrests. While extremely tragic for Mary, each arrest created some form of documentation that helps to fill in the gaps of her extraordinary life. 

These findings led Kinsey to ask the question, “Can we use the same methods of research as we did with Mary Jones to learn more about other queer Black people?” Utilizing free-to-use digital archives such as Internet Archive, HathiTrust, and Fulton History, Kinsey used their research experience with Jones to search keywords like effeminate, masculine, dressed in womens clothes, or masquerading as a man, and was amazed at how much there was to find. Through Elevating Queer Ancestors, he hopes to show that there is much, often buried, information to be sifted through to find the beginning threads of many Black queer ancestors’ stories in New York and throughout the world. 

“Whether it’s talking about Mary Jones or uplifting the untold stories of the indigenous Lenape people or the Africans enslaved here in Flatbush, all of the work within the ReImagine Lefferts initiative points back to the question of which stories have been historically neglected and why, and how can we tell them now?” shares Kinsey. “While the work done through the initiative uncovers the names of people enslaved by the Lefferts family, the fact of the matter is that the records were always there, they just needed someone to look for them and interpret them appropriately. The same is true of the as-yet-unknown Black queer residents of early New York.”

Kinsey and the team at ReImagine Lefferts understand that many make the detrimental assumption that records on the histories of Black life and especially Black queer life do not exist. “This is just blatantly untrue. Though many historical archives have been designed to hide or silence a person’s or a group of people’s existence, there are always ways to look deeper and to expand and contextualize stories–which is exactly what the ReImagine Lefferts Initiative aims to do,” reflects Kinsey.

“The dire importance of championing research and building access to marginalized histories is incredibly clear, especially now. When people can see themselves in history, especially young people, that can help expand their hopes and dreams of what is possible in the world,” explained Kinsey, on their goals to develop regular programming on genealogy and historical research. 

It is important to reflect on how far New York and our society have come in striving to secure equality, but also how marginalized people have always worked within our own communities to uplift and support each other, regardless of the oppressive forces at play. “Initiatives like ReImagine Lefferts do just this and more, encouraging us towards a better future for everyone – Black, trans and queer people included.”

RSVP for Elevating Black Queer Ancestors on Thursday, June 13, and learn more about Prospect Park Alliance’s ReImagine Lefferts Initiative.

Lefferts Kicks Off 2024 Season

May 15, 2024

Starting June 1, Prospect Park Alliance kicks off a full season of family-friendly programming at Lefferts Historic House museum, with the debut of its first Artist in Residence Adama Delphine Fawundu’s large-scale, site-specific installation, Ancestral Whispers, funded through a grant from the Mellon Foundation, and a Pinkster celebration with Chief Baba Neil Clarke, the Pinkster Players and more. 

“Art can be such a powerful tool for social justice, and for a dialogue about legacy, agency and creativity. When we have art in public spaces, we create meaningful opportunities for people to reflect on the beauty of the artwork in fellowship with other park users and with nature,” says Prospect Park Alliance President, Morgan Monaco. “Prospect Park Alliance welcomes the entire community to join us for the debut of our first Artist in Residence and the second season of our ReImagine Lefferts initiative, which has shifted our interpretation to tell these stories of resistance and resilience. It is my hope that visitors will see a version of themselves represented in this museum and feel seen, honored and welcome. The season is an especially significant one as we share Ancestral Whispers with our community, which celebrates the heroism of Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family, and leverages the power of art to heal deep-seated wounds from our nation’s past.”

Learn more about the full season, and RSVP for our opening events: prospectpark.org/lefferts.

Operated by the Alliance in partnership with the Historic House Trust, the museum is open from June 1 through December 1, 2024, and provides free, family-friendly cultural programming for Brooklynites of all ages with hands-on experiences, live performances and other engaging activities that explore the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. 

Adama Delphine Fawundu Ancestral Whispers
The Alliance’s first ever Artist in Residence is lifelong Brooklynite Adama Delphine Fawundu. Fawundu is a photographer and visual artist whose  work centers around themes of indigenization and ancestral memory, which has earned her a 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship. “When the Alliance reached out it was so special because we were both on a specific trajectory. My whole existence is based in this neighborhood. The smell of the grass when it rains in the park means so much to me…I have such a history here. It felt very much like a 360 degree event to connect with the ReImagine team here in Prospect Park,” reflects Artist in Residence Adama Delphine Fawundu on initial conversations with the Alliance.

For her commission, Fawundu has created a large-scale, site-specific installation inspired by the research the Alliance has conducted into the lives of Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. To date, the Alliance has identified 25 people enslaved at the house between its 1783 construction and the 1827 abolition of slavery in New York. Fawundu has created 25 fabric banners that transform the house’s Flatbush Avenue facade, honoring the heroism of these Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. In addition, Fawundu’s 2020 video performance piece, In the Face of History Freedom Cape, which was filmed in part in Prospect Park and Lefferts Historic House, will be on view.

The Alliance will present a special opening event with Fawundu on Sunday, June 9, and a conversation with Fawundu and artist Nona Faustine on Sunday, June 30. Learn more and RSVP: prospectpark.org/ancestral-whispers.

Pinkster Celebration + Season Opening

The Alliance will celebrate the start of the Lefferts season with a special Pinkster celebration on Saturday, June 1, with Chief Baba Neil Clarke, the Pinkster Players and friends, including long-time Lefferts storyteller Tammy Hall. Pinkster was the one holiday a year in the colonial period when Africans enslaved in New York were allowed to gather. Africans took that opportunity to celebrate and transmit their cultures, making Pinkster the oldest African festival in North America. This family-friendly event features music, history, performances, storytelling, demonstrations, games and food related to this historic celebration of Africans in New York. Learn more about Pinkster and RSVP: prospectpark.org/pinkster.

Enjoy the following special programs this June: 

Lefferts Opening Event: Pinkster Celebration
Saturday, June 1, 1–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/pinkster 
Prospect Park Alliance celebrates the 2024 season opening of our historic house museum with a celebration of Pinkster, a historic festival of African culture in New York, with Chief Baba Neil Clarke, the Pinkster Players and friends, including long-time Lefferts storyteller Tammy Hall. This family-friendly event features music, history, performances, storytelling, demonstrations, games and food. Plus, the celebration continues with a Pinkster Celebration from 12-5 pm on Sunday June 2 at Weeksville Heritage Center! Free shuttle buses between the two museums from 12:30-5:30 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Exhibit Opening: Adama Delphine Fawundu, Ancestral Whispers
Sunday, June 9, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/ancestral-whispers
Welcome Prospect Park Alliance’s first ever ReImagine Lefferts Artist in Residence, Adama Delphine Fawundu, at the official launch of her installation Ancestral Whispers. Enjoy a spiritually rich sonic offering, featuring Fawundu accompanied by her son and musician Che Buford, whose work explores the creation of new narratives while engaging with memory and place. Fawundu will conduct gallery talks of her works on display, explain her creative process and share details about some of the concepts and imagery in her art. Plus, DJ Spinna will also be performing as part of this opening celebration.

Elevating Black Queer Ancestors
Thursday, June 13, 6:30–7:30 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance Public Programs Manager Riah Kinsey on the porch of Lefferts Historic House for an evening tribute elevating Black Queer Ancestors. Bring a picnic and listen to excerpts of historic records documenting 300 years of Black Queer life in New York and beyond.

Father’s Day Celebration and Discussion
Saturday, June 15, 12–3 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, Registration Encouraged: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Assembly Member Brian Cunningham for a fun-filled Father’s Day celebration and BBQ at Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park!

*77* District 40 at Lefferts Historic House
Monday, June 17, 7–8 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance and *77* District 40 for an evening of community and culture building. The event will feature seven seven-minute presentations and/or performances celebrating diverse cultures. 

Uhuru Season: 17 Days of Freedom
Daily, Wednesday, June 19–Friday, July 5
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Visit the toll booth outside Lefferts Historic House to view a series of posters created by local artist Grey Jones. This site-specific exhibition commemorates the historical tradition of celebrating Juneteenth, the last day that Americans were freed from enslavement, and July 5, the day that many Black Americans historically celebrated American Independence as a sociopolitical protest to the continued enslavement of people prior to emancipation.

The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie!
Sunday, June 23, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/caribbean
Join Prospect Park Alliance, JouvayFest Collective, BUSH WO/MAN Conversations Project and 2J & Friends for The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie! Traditional Character’s workshop at Lefferts Historic House. Learn the significance of these legendary African masquerade characters and how they have circulated through the diaspora across the Caribbean and other Carnival cultures around the world.

DJ on the Porch: Lefferts Libations, Homage of Music and History 
Saturday, June 29, 2–7 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance and Juwandi House Riddems for a family-friendly afternoon of house rhythms in the yard of Lefferts Historic House.

Conversations on the Porch: Adama Delphine Fawundu, Nona Faustine + Niama Safia Sandy
Sunday, June 30, 2–3:30
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/lefferts
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a conversation between Lefferts Artist in Residence Adama Delphine Fawundu and artist Nona Faustine, whose work is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, moderated by cultural anthropologist, curator, producer and organizer, Niama Safia Sandy. Both Fawundu and Faustine use photography to engage with the legacies of enslavement and resilience in Brooklyn, and have produced work featuring Lefferts Historic House.

DJ on the Porch: Beats, Rhythm & Lyrics
Sunday, July 14, 2–9 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance, DJ Vic Black of the Gangstarr Foundation and founder of Beats Rhythm & Lyrics for a day of great music and community in the yard of Lefferts Historic House.

*77* at Lefferts Historic House
Wednesday, July 17, 7–8 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance and *77* District 40 for an evening of community and culture. The event will feature seven seven-minute presentations and/or performances beginning at 7 pm in the yard at Lefferts Historic House.

NYC Poetry Family Reunion
Saturday, July 20, 3–9 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance, Empress Poetry & Essence Lamonde for performances and an open mic at the Lefferts Historic House. This event will bring together griots, poets and wordsmiths from across the diaspora to honor important members of the poetry community in NYC. We will also honor fallen community members with a legendary tribute.

DJ on the Porch: Songs of Resistance and Joy! 
Sunday, July 28, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance and Shawne’ Lee for a musical tribute to the courage of her mother, Mama Joy Chatel, the activist and preservationist who saved 227 Abolitionist Place in downtown Brooklyn from destruction. Enjoy music on the Lefferts Historic House porch and hear Sister Shawne’ spin the songs that gave Chatel strength, happiness, peace of mind and soulful comfort.

Community Health Awareness and Family Reunion Day of Fun
August 18, 10:30 am–8 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts
Join Prospect Park Alliance, James Frasier, DJ T-Groove, Mehala Isadora Miller Foundation, the Bonello Foundation and more for a Community Health Awareness event and Family Reunion Day of Fun at Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park. Enjoy free refreshments, activities, and school-supplies giveaways for children, fitness and nutrition workshops, and health screenings provided by One Brooklyn Health, Aetna, and more. 

*77* at Lefferts Historic House
Tuesday, August 27, 7–8pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 
Join Prospect Park Alliance and *77* District 40 for an evening of community and culture building. The event will feature seven seven-minute presentations and/or performances beginning at 7 pm in the yard at Lefferts Historic House.

About Adama Delphine Fawundu

Adama Delphine Fawundu is a photographer and visual artist of Mende, Krim, Bamileke and Bubi descent. Her distinct visual language centered around themes of indigenization, and ancestral memory, enriches and expands the visual art canon. Fawundu co-published the critically acclaimed book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Columbia University. Learn more at delphinefawundu.com.

About ReImagine Lefferts

ReImagine Lefferts is Prospect Park Alliance’s initiative to re-envision the mission and programming of the Lefferts Historic House museum, an 18th-century Flatbush farmhouse and New York City landmark, to focus its interpretation and programming on exploring the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. The Alliance seeks to engage the public in thoughtful dialogue about the legacy of enslavement and the exploitation of marginalized communities in Brooklyn and beyond. Learn more at prospectpark.org/lefferts.

About Prospect Park Alliance

Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Backyard, in partnership with the City of New York. The Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. Learn more at prospectpark.org. 

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at mellon.org.

ReImagine Lefferts is funded through a Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Mellon Foundation Logo

Caribpolitan, Andrea Pippins for I AM CARIBBEING

Celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month in Prospect Park

May 13, 2024

This June, Celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month in Prospect Park! Join Prospect Park Alliance with I AM caribBEING, JOUVAYFEST COLLECTIVE, BUSH WO/MAN Conversations Project, Braata Productions, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales and more to kick off a month of celebration in Brooklyn’s Backyard. Enjoy Caribbean music, dance, cuisine and much more during this cultural celebration for Brooklynites of all ages.

Caribbean American Heritage Month Celebration
Wednesday, June 5, 6 pm–9 pm
Prospect Park Boathouse, Free, RSVP Today!
Join Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales and Prospect Park Alliance for a Caribbean American Heritage Month celebration! Enjoy music, food and community at this celebration.

One Love Little Caribbean Day
Sunday, June 23, 11 am–7 pm
Prospect Park Boathouse, Free, RSVP Today!
Spread Love, the Brooklyn Way with I AM CARIBBEING and Prospect Park Alliance. Pull up with your friends, family and neighbors for a day filled with Caribbean Culture + Community + Commerce. From a Carnival workshop led by Fiona Compton of Know Your Caribbean, to a dance class by Soca & Sweat to authentic Caribbean cuisine, music and more, One Love Fest is a unique way to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Little Caribbean NYC.

Arrive early to shop at I AM CARIBBEING’s curated marketplace presented in partnership with Black Wall Street. Explore unique crafts + goods from artisan vendors while vibing to DJ sets & delicious West Indian cuisine.  

The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie!
Sunday, June 23, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP Today!
Join Prospect Park Alliance, JouvayFest Collective, BUSH WO/MAN Conversations Project and 2J & Friends for The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie! Traditional Character’s workshop at Lefferts Historic House. Learn about the significance of these legendary African masquerade characters and how they have circulated through the diaspora across the Caribbean and other Carnival cultures around the world.

Caribites
Sunday, June 30, 1:30–4:30
Boathouse, Free, RSVP Today!
Join Prospect Park Alliance and Braata Productions for Caribites — a Caribbean culinary paradise! Enjoy a flavorful journey of food, music, and summer bliss. Close your eyes and transport yourself to the idyllic shores of your favorite Caribbean island. Can you smell it? Can you taste it? Immerse yourself in Caribbean culinary delights and entertainment that will make this summer truly unforgettable with the finest selection of Caribbean eats from Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Haiti & Dominican Republic and exciting activities for kids. Plus, dance to the pulsating beats spun by talented DJs from those very islands, and be captivated by live performances that showcase the richness of Caribbean culture. Join us reveling in a day filled with joy, laughter and delicious food.

 

c. Left, Adama Delphine Fawundu c. Right, Obed Obwoge

Prospect Park Alliance Announces Artist In Residence Adama Delphine Fawundu

February 8, 2024

Prospect Park Alliance has announced the first Artist in Residence at Lefferts Historic House Museum. Brooklyn Artist Adama Delphine Fawundu will create a monumental, site-specific installation informed by new research from the Alliance’s ReImagine Lefferts Initiative, which seeks to focus interpretation at the museum on the resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking whose unceded ancestral lands the house rests upon and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. The installation will debut in Spring 2024 in timing with the seasonal opening of the museum, and is funded through a Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation.

“Prospect Park Alliance’s first ReImagine Lefferts Artist in Residence is a step towards healing deep-seated wounds from our nation’s past,” said Prospect Park Alliance President, Morgan Monaco. “Art is a key medium for storytelling and this installation will help tell the stories of those who have traditionally been silenced. I look forward to park visitors engaging with and reflecting on Delphine’s installation as a form of healing, learning and community building.”

“When the Alliance reached out it was so special because we were both on a specific trajectory. My whole existence is based in this neighborhood. The smell of the grass when it rains in the park means so much to me…I have such a history here. It felt very much like a 360 degree event to connect with the ReImagine team here in Prospect Park,” reflects Artist in Residence Adama Delphine Fawundu on initial conversations with the Alliance.

Fawundu’s connection with Prospect Park is long standing. A born-and-raised Brooklynite, Fawundu has a personal history in the park. Her work with the Alliance was sparked by her 2020 performance piece, In the Face of History Freedom Cape, which was filmed in part in Prospect Park and Lefferts Historic House. Fawundu’s relationship with the park continued in 2021 through Joyful Blues, an installation with BRIC at the Lena Horne Bandshell that combined photographs taken in the late 1990s of Black girls in Brooklyn as well as garra fabric designs from Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Artist in Residence, Fawundu is creating a new site-specific work that is informed by the research Prospect Park Alliance has conducted into the lives of Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. To date, the Alliance has identified 25 people enslaved by the Lefferts family at the house between its construction in 1783 and the abolition of slavery in New York in 1827. Fawundu’s installation will include 25 textile pieces, each paying homage to the everyday heroism of these 25 individuals, installed across the historic house’s Flatbush Avenue facade.

“Delphine’s work builds upon research to honor the humanity of those whose stories were previously not told,” said Maria Carrasco, Prospect Park Alliance Vice President, Public Programs. “Her vision and work fit seamlessly with the ReImagine Lefferts Initiative in centering the resistance and resilience that enslaved Africans and generations of descendants have embodied throughout history.”

Fawundu’s work is rooted in humanism: “Knowing these names leads us to think about the stories of each person enslaved here, and to see each others’ humanity. We know of course that every enslaved person had intelligence and expertise, but we humanize them further when we ask ‘what else?’ about their story. Who was the scientist? Who was the herbalist? The fact that we tell these stories and the way that we tell them is so important,” says Fawundu.

Fawundu’s work is shaped not only by her personal history with the park and surrounding neighborhoods, but also by her over 10 years of experience as an educator in New York City public schools. “Resistance is so important for the younger generation. Black people have always been resisting from generation to generation, and telling stories that make our youth feel less-than is violent. Stories of the past clearly impact how younger people see themselves. The way we understand the past informs the present and future. This is something I have grappled with throughout my career as an artist and educator.”

About Adama Delphine Fawundu

Adama Delphine Fawundu is a photographer and visual artist of Mende, Krim, Bamileke and Bubi descent. Her distinct visual language centered around themes of indigenization, and ancestral memory, enriches and expands the visual art canon. Fawundu co-published the critically acclaimed book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Columbia University. Learn more at delphinefawundu.com.

About ReImagine Lefferts

Prospect Park Alliance has launched ReImagine Lefferts, an initiative to re-envision the mission and programming of the Lefferts Historic House museum, an 18th-century Flatbush farmhouse and New York City landmark, to focus its interpretation and programming on exploring the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. The Alliance seeks to engage the public in thoughtful dialogue about the legacy of enslavement and the exploitation of marginalized communities in Brooklyn and beyond. Learn more at prospectpark.org/lefferts.

About Prospect Park Alliance

Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains “Brooklyn’s Backyard,” working in partnership with the City of New York. The Alliance was founded in 1987 to help restore Prospect Park after a long period of deterioration and decline. Today, the Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. The Alliance cares for the woodlands and natural areas, restores the park’s buildings and landscapes, creates innovative park destinations, and provides free or low-cost volunteer, education and recreation programs. Today, Prospect Park is an international model for the care of urban parks, and one of the premier green spaces in the United States. Learn more at prospectpark.org.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at mellon.org.

Mellon Foundation Logo

Slave Dwelling Project Comes to Lefferts

October 16, 2023

Prospect Park Alliance’s ReImagine Lefferts Initiative is re-envisioning the mission and programming of the Lefferts Historic House museum in Prospect Park to focus its interpretation and programming on exploring the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family.

As part of this initiative, the Alliance is engaging the public in thoughtful dialogue about the legacy of slavery in Brooklyn and beyond. In September, the Alliance had the honor of hosting Joseph McGill Jr., founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, and Herb Frazier, co-author with McGill of Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery, for a book discussion and community conversation. McGill spends the night in former slave dwellings across the nation to draw attention to the often otherwise obscured and distorted history of slavery. He and Frazier stayed overnight at Lefferts Historic House as part of this event.

ReImagine Lefferts Community Conversation

Community members engage in a ReImagine Lefferts Community Conversation and book signing with McGill and Frazier following the authors’ stay at the Lefferts Historic House. c. k. kennedy Whiters

“I was able to touch the wooden beams that hold up the ceiling on the second floor space where enslaved people likely slept,” shared McGill following his stay at the house. “I could feel the cuts that an enslaved man made with an ax to craft that beam. I found what I think could be a fingerprint in one of the bricks in the chimney in the attic. Enslaved people were the ones who formed the bricks with their hands, so that fingerprint connects us to history.”

A focal point of the ReImagine Lefferts initiative is the Alliance’s collaboration with descendant and neighboring communities, culture bearers, scholars, artists, civic leaders and more to create content that will support the museum’s new focus and deepen our relationships with these communities through active conversation and collaboration.

“It takes power from within to want to tell the real story so that we can combat the things that have gotten us to a place where our history has been made irrelevant. Because that spirit is there, I think [the Alliance] will be successful in what you’re trying to do,” said McGill at the event.

Frazier reflected on the ongoing research as a core element of the ReImagine Lefferts initiative, and the importance of continuing to delve deeper. “As a storyteller, I like the idea that you have identified the 25 names of the people who were enslaved here. There obviously needs to be more research to find a more full understanding of who they were as individuals and maybe unearth additional people who worked on this site and lived at this house. And, of course, additional research to confirm where they slept. Nevertheless, Joseph and I will both leave with the satisfaction that we were close to where they slept and that we were able to connect with them.”

Learn more about the ReImagine Lefferts Initiative and events at Lefferts Historic House, including an upcoming behind-the-scenes tour with Open House New York.

ReImagine Lefferts is funded through a Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Mellon Foundation Logo

c. Prospect Park Alliance

An Inside Look: J’ouvert Comes to Life at Lefferts

August 17, 2023

Kick off your J’ouvert celebration in Brooklyn’s Backyard! Prospect Park Alliance, JouvayFest Collective and City Lore have opened the J’ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience at the Lefferts Historic House. The exhibit is part of ReImagine Lefferts, the Alliance’s initiative to re-envision the mission and programming at Lefferts Historic House to focus programming on the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. The multimedia exhibit offers an exploration of the rich and colorful history of J’ouvert in Trinidad and Tobago and its important role in Brooklyn today.

The inaugural exhibit of the ReImagine Lefferts initiative, through funding from the Mellon Foundation, J’ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience is reflective of the community that surrounds Prospect Park. “Prospect Park borders  the largest Caribbean community in the world outside of the Caribbean,” shares Maria Carrasco, Prospect Park Alliance Vice President of Public Programs. “We want Brooklyn’s Caribbean community to see themselves represented in the park, as well as at Lefferts Historic House.” J’ouvert (pronounced jou-vay) translates to “opening of the day or I open” in French, and marks the beginning of the official two days of Carnival before Ash Wednesday in the Francophone Atlantic. J’ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience  sheds light on the often-misunderstood aspects of J’ouvert, allowing viewers to better understand this essential Caribbean cultural tradition, right in the heart of Brooklyn.

J'ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience

Alongside immersive video and traditional steelpan instruments, “Dame Lorraine,” the character costume pictured above in red, is one of the traditional J’ouvert costumes on view in the exhibit. Originally created by enslaved Africans as a mockery of plantation owners, the satirical  character exaggerates the features of a French madame. c. Prospect Park Alliance

“Many people don’t know the historic connections and significance of J’ouvert celebrations. J’ouvert is a living tradition. It has a big story to tell. It’s a story of resistance and resilience,” says JouvayFest Co-Founder and Exhibit Curator, Sandra A.M. Bell. Formerly enslaved Africans in predominantly French-speaking Caribbean colonies created J’ouvert as part of their bitter battles with the authorities to participate in the pre-Lenten festivities of the ruling class. The tradition was made official in Trinidad and Tobago in 1881 when communities fought for their freedom during the famous Canboulay (burnt-cane in French) riots, when they destroyed valuable sugarcane fields to protest British attempts to suppress their way of life. This struggle secured the J’ouvert celebration from colonial interference. J’ouvert has flourished into a potent living tradition and symbol of the power of resistance and resilience in the Caribbean, Brooklyn and beyond.

The exhibit immerses the community in the  J’ouvert experience through life-sized  J’ouvert  costumes, signature percussive instruments, large-format photography of traditional Mas (masquerade) Carnival costumes and celebrations, plus  virtual reality. “Put on those goggles and you’ll be immediately transported to a J’ouvert celebration. You’ll have the experience of being inside a J’ouvert band on a J’ouvert morning and gain a taste of this centuries-old tradition,” says Bell.

Large scale J’ouvert character costumes at J’ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience. c. Prospect Park Alliance

This vibrant cultural exhibit at the newly reopened Lefferts Historic House will also include workshops and discussions on the food, dance and music of the classic Trinidad and Tobago style of J’ouvert on select dates while it is on view at the house through October 29.

Visit J’ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience on Thursdays through Sundays from 12 pm – 5 pm through September 2 and on Saturdays + Sundays from 12 pm – 4 pm through October 29.

Plus, visit our Lefferts page for more events and information on programming at the Lefferts Historic House.

c. Obed Obwoge

ReImagine Lefferts Featured in The New York Times

July 11, 2023

The ReImagine Lefferts initiative was recently featured in The New York Times. The piece by Laurel Graber, “A House Museum Has a New Message: New York Had Slavery, Too,” details the work Prospect Park Alliance is undertaking to re-envision the mission and programming of the Lefferts Historic House museum to focus on exploring the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family.

An excerpt from the June 22 story:

In 1765, a young woman named Flora came to live on the Lefferts family farm in what is now the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. Skilled in treating illnesses with medicinal herbs and in preparing and preserving food, she took charge of the farmhouse’s kitchen, planning daily meals on the 250-acre property.

But Flora was property, too. Her record of enslavement is one of 25 personal histories recently unearthed by ReImagine Lefferts, an initiative dedicated to redefining the identity of the Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park. This Brooklyn institution, which consists of the homestead where Flora worked — it was burned during the American Revolution, rebuilt in 1783 and relocated to the park’s east side in 1917 — was originally a monument to the Lefferts family, prosperous Dutch immigrants who arrived in the 1660s…

Drawing from primary sources that include the New York City Municipal Archives and the Lefferts family papers, ReImagine Lefferts has been constructing biographies of previously unacknowledged residents like Flora, who is believed to have died on the farm in 1817, and Grace, who was born into slavery there in 1802. (New York State did not abolish slavery until 1827.) Through the initiative’s continuing work, the museum will feature contemporary art, historical exhibits and public programs that are inspired not only by enslaved Africans but also by the Lenape, the region’s Indigenous inhabitants.

“It’s a new definition of what a museum should or could entail,” said Morgan Monaco, the park administrator and president of the Prospect Park Alliance, which operates the Lefferts museum with the Historic House Trust.

Read the full story from The New York Times. 

The Alliance is now welcoming the public to the Lefferts Historic House Thursdays—Sundays. Visit and lend your voice to the future of the museum. Share your ideas with museum staff and fellow visitors and contribute to future programming through interactive brainstorming activities suitable for all ages.

c. Obed Obwoge

Lefferts Ribbon Cutting

June 6, 2023

Prospect Park Alliance President Morgan Monaco and NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue joined elected officials, civic leaders and other community members to celebrate the restoration and reopening of Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park’s 18th-century Flatbush farmhouse museum, which is jointly operated by the Alliance, the nonprofit that sustains the park, and the Historic House Trust.

Through $2.5 million in funding from the Speaker and Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council, Prospect Park Alliance undertook a major restoration of Lefferts Historic House. In timing with the restoration, the Alliance launched ReImagine Lefferts, an initiative funded through a Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation that is re-envisioning the mission and programming of the museum to explore the stories of resistance and resilience by the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans who were enslaved by the Lefferts family.

Lefferts Historic House is one of the most visited historic house museums in New York City, and features a working garden, historic artifacts, and indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Pinkster Celebration in Prospect Park at the Lefferts Historic House. c. Obed Obwoge

“Prospect Park Alliance is grateful to the City and the Mellon Foundation for providing us with the funding to restore and reinvent our historic house museum,” said Morgan Monaco, Prospect Park Alliance President and Park Administrator. “Through ReImagine Lefferts, we are engaging the public around the ongoing legacies of dispossession and enslavement in Brooklyn and beyond, and I’m honored to be ushering in this new era of recognition and celebration of the narratives and histories that have been ignored for centuries. I am looking forward to working with our partners to make the museum a place for healing and a forum for thoughtful dialogue for our community.”

“By exploring the realities of expropriation and enslavement, the restoration of the Lefferts Historic House opens up avenues for dialogue, reflection, and a deeper understanding of the uncomfortable truths embedded within this site’s history. Prospect Park Alliance and the Historic House Trust’s unwavering dedication to the restoration and revitalization of this iconic landmark strengthens our connection to the past, enriches our present, and shapes a more inclusive and culturally vibrant future for Prospect Park and beyond,” said Comptroller Brad Lander, who helped to advocate for funding for the restoration while serving in the New York City Council.

“Thanks to our partners at Prospect Park Alliance and Historic House Trust, Lefferts Historic House has undergone a tremendous renovation, while honoring its historic past,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “New Yorkers will benefit immensely from this preserved site and its greater mission, which through ReImagine Lefferts, places the stories of those previously untold on center stage. Visitors have so much to learn from our historic sites and how their legacies continue to impact and resonate with our world today.”

“In order to meaningfully address the legacy of slavery, and its indelible impact on our society, we must invest in opportunities to learn about our history,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “I’m proud to have secured significant funding to restore the Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park. New Yorkers will now be able to visit the historic house museum to learn about the history of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose ancestral land Prospect Park is sited on, and the people who were enslaved by the Lefferts family. Our progress as a society is contingent upon us knowing our history, and I look forward to our continued work with the Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks to create more educational opportunities for all.”

“As one of the most visited historic house museums in our City, the story Lefferts Historic House tells is important. Now, the museum will tell the full story of our borough’s ugly and painful underbelly. This truth-telling begins the process of restoring dignity to the communities our city has long glazed over— our Indigenous and Black sisters and brothers who have never received proper acknowledgement or apology for the deep injustices inflicted upon them,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I’m happy that the Lefferts Historic House is beginning this retelling of history and hope it will spark conversation over how we as a borough can continue to account for our past. Thank you to the Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks for making this reimagining possible.”

“Today, as we gather beneath the historic roof of Lefferts House, we celebrate the power of preservation and community,” said Council Member Rita Joseph. In this moment of restoration’s completion, let us honor the rich heritage of our past, embrace the beauty of our present, and build a future that cherishes our shared history and diverse traditions. Together, we create a tapestry of unity, resilience, and joy that will continue to inspire generations to come.”

“As Executive Director of the Historic House Trust of New York City and Director of Historic Houses at NYC Parks, I have the great privilege of working with community partners like Prospect Park Alliance who are doing groundbreaking work to shed light on previously undertold stories and accurately reflect the history and culture of our diverse city,” said Meredith Sorin Horsford, Executive Director, Historic House Trust. “The Historic House Trust and our 23 partner historic sites have an opportunity to focus on deepening our collective understanding of history. ReImagine Lefferts is an initiative that exemplifies the strength of community dialogue, and the impact of listening, engaging, and responding.”

In June, the Alliance will host Caribbean-American Heritage Month and Juneteenth celebrations, and will open for regular operating hours starting in July. Learn more about Lefferts events and programs.

Background on Restoration
Lefferts Historic House, which is almost 250 years old, was originally located just blocks from the Prospect Park on Flatbush Avenue (near Maple Street), and moved to its current site in 1918. After three centuries, and much wear and tear, the 1783 Dutch-American-style house was in need of critical restoration. Peeling paint and poor drainage had contributed to damage of the exterior wood shingles, windows, trim, columns and ornamental details. Gutters and rainwater leaders were displaced and not functionally draining. The cedar shingle roof was damaged and covered in moss, and the house’s three chimneys were crumbling. Structural elements of the porch and first floor were no longer able to support the load of visitors. Restoration included replacing the historic cedar-shingled roof, a meticulous process of craftsmanship due to the steep eaves of the roof (Lefferts is one of last remaining examples of an h-frame house with a gambrel roof); renovating the wood-shingled exterior, making structural improvements to the interior, replacing the house’s mechanical systems, and improving surrounding lighting and paths. The Alliance was recognized with a 2023 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for this restoration project, the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s highest honor for outstanding preservation.

“I want to congratulate Prospect Park Alliance on their work to restore the Lefferts Historic House not only as a point of important history, but also to ensure we tell the stories of Brooklyn’s – and America’s – indigenous and enslaved people more accurately and more completely,” said Congressman Dan Goldman. “Black and Indigenous history is American history, and they are Brooklyn’s history as well. I was excited to get a preview of this historic restoration last month and I look forward to visiting the site now that it is fully open to the public. Prospect Park is a national treasure and I am grateful for the important work of the Prospect Park Alliance.”

“The reopening of Lefferts Historic House marks a significant milestone and paves the way for dialogue, reflection, and a more inclusive future for Prospect Park and beyond,” said Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie. “The restoration efforts, coupled with the ReImagine Lefferts initiative, demonstrate Prospect Park Alliance’s commitment to honoring the stories of resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people and the enslaved Africans who called this part of Brooklyn home. I’m honored to represent Brooklyn’s Backyard in Albany and am proud of this collaboration that reflects the diversity and strength of our community.”

Work will continue on the house in the coming years thanks to Assembly Members Bobby Carroll and Brian Cunningham, who have allocated funding to restore the Lefferts grounds and make critical structural improvements to the house’s second floor.

“I am proud to dedicate $500,000 in capital funding from the New York State Assembly to help complete the restoration of the grounds at Lefferts Historic House Museum,” said Assembly Member Robert Carroll. “This vital restoration is critical to preserving an important part of Brooklyn’s history and to help tell the complete story of the Lefferts Historic House. That story unfortunately includes previously untold stories of dispossession and enslavement.”

“Prospect Park is the premiere outdoor space of Brooklyn, and the Lefferts Historic House is one of its defining features,” said Assembly Member Brian A. Cunningham. “The re-opening of this historical landmark in partnership with the launch of ReImagine Lefferts ensures a more accurate historical accounting of the Lefferts family legacy and illuminates untold stories of the relationship between the Lenapehoking people and early European Settlers. This project is a testament to the power of public-private partnerships that not only restore a piece of American history, but ensure it tells a more truthful, accurate story about our past, so that we may all learn how to create a more just, equitable future.”

Prospect Park Alliance has launched ReImagine Lefferts through a prestigious Humanities in Place grant from the Mellon Foundation. ReImagine Lefferts will re-envision the mission and programming of the museum to explore the stories of resistance and resilience by the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans who were enslaved by the Lefferts family. Through this initiative, the Alliance seeks to engage the public in thoughtful dialogue about the ongoing legacies of dispossession and enslavement in Brooklyn and beyond.