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Hot Hands "These Hands Built" at Brooklyn Navy Yard Performance, 2-21-2015
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Hot Hands "These Hands Built" at Brooklyn Navy Yard Performance, 2-21-2015

These Hands Built: Performance at the Brooklyn Navy Yard BLDG 92 on February 21st, 2015 as part of Black Artstory Month 2015. Conceptualized and written by Kiowa Hammons and Daonne Huff, and performed by HOT HANDS: Kiowa Hammons, Leslie Hodgkins, Daonne Huff and Eric Trosko. Sponsored by the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (MARP) and BLDG 92. Video filmed and edited by Mike Wilson (Sulphurbath Productions). Performance Synopsis: In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, which prohibited racial discrimination within the United States’ national defense industry. This being the height of WW2, the order, while not a law, opened up new opportunities for vocational and training programs previously restricted to people of color. Although African Americans worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard prior to the order, it provided them with new job opportunities. In addition to being stewards, cooks, secretaries and cleaners, they could now be mechanics, welders, corpsman and even serve in integrated military units. Despite the social conditions within the United States at the time, African American men and women viewed signing up to support the war effort as their duty: to serve their country, to support themselves and their families and to help free the oppressed peoples of Europe and Asia. African Americans were willing to risk their lives for the pursuit of freedom and equality---knowing they were returning to a country, assisting a country that treated them as inferior, second - class citizens based on the color of their skin. Taking inspiration from 1940s art and culture, the physical workplaces and the stories of the known and unknown African American men and women workers of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, THESE HANDS BUILT aims to recognize and honor the presence of the Black hands that built ships, (re) built bodies, (re) built nations and built foundations for social and political change for future generations within the United States and abroad.
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