July 4 is, of course, the day America declared its independence from England. But it was also Independence Day for New York slaves, who were officially “freed” in 1827.
To mark the occasion, the Weeksville Heritage Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant celebrates with a day of music and lectures on July 3.
The main attraction is pioneering neo-soul and rock musician Cody ChestnuTT in a rare performance.
Shawn Peters, the arts and programming consultant at the lost-and-then-found African-American village from the 1840s, describes ChestnuTT’s music as Chuck Berry-style rockabilly with the conscientious message of Bob Marley.
Before each show, the musician, who is of Jamaican heritage, gathers his audience around a la the tradition of African storytellers before performing his experimental rock and roll.
Emancipation Day at Weeksville Garden [1698 Bergen St. between Buffalo Avenue and Rochester Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, (718) 756-5250], July 3 at 4 pm. Admission $5 (suggested donation). For info, visit weeksvillesociety.org.