Celebrate Black History Month at Weeksville Heritage Center

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Soak in the history of Weeksville with special weekend hours during the month of February.

In celebration of Black History Month, the site will be open every Saturday in February from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Three tours of surviving 19th century houses that were once part of the flourishing town of Weeksville will also be offered each Saturday.

Founded by James Weeks in the 1830s as a free black community, by 1900 they had about 500 residents and their own newspaper. The community established the Zion Home for Aged Colored, Howard Colored Orphan Asylum and Berean Baptist Church.

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Photo by Susan De Vries

By the 20th century, the street grid changed and Weeksville was swallowed up by the surrounding neighborhoods. The story of the early community and its importance to Brooklyn history began to reemerge in the 1960s.

Community members and historians rallied to save a group of forgotten houses on now-vanished Hunterfly Road that had been part of the community. They landmarked the houses and created a research and educational center and museum that celebrates historic and contemporary African-American culture.

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A Weeksville genealogy workshop in 1980. Photo via Weeksville Heritage Center

The surviving frame houses, located along the path of the vanished Hunterfly Road, are the last known surviving remnants of the community of Weeksville. Touring the houses offers a glimpse of the past with modest interiors staged with furniture, objects and textiles — bringing to life the stories of the people who called the community home.

Tours of the houses will be offered at 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. every Saturday in February. All tours meet at the Weeksville Heritage Center at 158 Buffalo Avenue in Crown Heights. Tours are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students and free for children under eight. Weeksville is also hosting an exhibition by artist Damien Davis which will be on view throughout the month. For more information on hours and exhibition details visit the exhibition page online.

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