LES Black & Red
LES Black & Red by artist Dennis RedMoon Darkeem was created to honor Black and Indigenous histories of the Lower East Side. The project includes four ‘light boxes’ each of which honors values of Courage, Justice, and Collaboration.
The values are inspired by overlooked histories of the neighborhood, including the thousands of years of presence of Lenape peoples, the attacks on Black communities during the NYC Draft Riots when many blamed African Americans for the Civil War, and the organizing and self determination that seeded powerful social justice movements.
LES Black & Red is sited adjacent to ground which was once a primary and ancient Lenape trail, some of the first farms owned by freed Africans under Dutch rule, and an important burial ground for Black New Yorkers, all unmarked and built over.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Dennis RedMoon Darkeem is an artist and educator of Yamassee Creek-Seminole Native American and African American descent. He has been artist in residence at organizations such as Wave Hill, the Laundromat Project, The Point, Bronx Children’s Museum, and Jamaica Arts Center. Darkeem’s work has been exhibited in multiple museums and galleries, including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Brooklyn Museum, MoMA, and Bronx Art Space.
LES Black & Red was commissioned by FABnyc, as part of their ongoing project, The People’s LES, with support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.