Brooklyn BP Reynoso celebrates opening of “Brooklyn is Africa” art exhibit at Black History Month reception

Photos credit: Isseu Diouf Campbell

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso celebrated Black History Month with an opening night reception for the “Brooklyn is Africa” art exhibit’s return to Borough Hall on February 23, 2023.

In partnership with Eric Edwards and the Cultural Museum of African Art (CMAA), the weeklong exhibit tells the story of “Survival + Persistence = Resistance” through a selection of 35 rare and historical African art pieces and artifacts representing the diaspora of the borough.

Visitors had the opportunity to view art dating as far back as 16-17th century Chad, and rare pieces like a 19th century Yoruba palace door from Nigeria carved by the renowned Olowe of Ise (ca. 1873 – 1938), who is one of the most celebrated Yoruba sculptors of the past century.

Over 250 people attended the exhibit’s opening night reception, which featured performances by the Patsy Grant and Friends jazz trio and the Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet, who performed a dance titled “Thank You.” “Thank You” commemorated the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and recognizes the 60th anniversary of the Birmingham Church bombing.

LaRay Brown, CEO of One Brooklyn Health System, was also honored at the event when Borough President Reynoso presented her with a citation for her contributions to excellence and healthcare in our communities.

CMAA is the creation of African artifacts collector Eric Edwards, who has amassed the most significant and important African artifacts collection in the world. Edwards’ journey spans more than 50 years, in which he has carefully selected these unique pieces, which include all 54 countries on the African continent, and date back more than 4,000 years of human history.

For more about the Cultural Museum of African Art (CMAA), visit:


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