About + History
(below) this depiction of colonization, attached to a granite boulder in front of the homestead, shows two indigenous figures presumably standing on the coast of present day RI. Seemingly approaching the coast, are some colonists - one appears to be reaching out their hand while the indigenous figure holds their palm face out.
When we say “historic restoration”, whose restoration are we referring to? This research-to-performance project is part of a two-year “PARKIST” Artist Residency with the Providence Parks Department & The Department of Arts + Culture + Tourism at the Historic Esek Hopkins Homestead (built in 1754) and Park. In solidarity and collaboration with our community, we are creating work investigates lineage; and to heal and shift the energetic center of this space and land’s layered history toward Queer Feminist PoC Wisdom, Healing, & Collective Liberation.
For at least the next two years, our Queer BIPOC family is living and working in the former home of ESEK HOPKINS, widely known as the first commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War. ESEK HOPKINS (1718-1802) tortured British prisoners of war during the American Revolution. He acted selfishly, consistently disobeying George Washington’s orders, in order to profit off the transatlantic slave trade route. He’s the reason we have a Whistleblowing Policy in the U.S. After the Revolution, Rhode Island merchants controlled 60-90 percent of the trading of African humans in AMERICA. Esek was hired to command the slave ship “Sally” to purchase kidnapped humans from the coast of Africa and bring them to America, land of the free, to be sold into slavery.
Why is there a middle school named after him full of brilliant Black & Brown children? Why is his house, a symbol of white supremacy, worth preserving as its been, when it could be returned into a space that feels free for all humans? What does it mean for our Queer PoC Glitter Dance Family to be living, creating, liberating, fighting, feeling, & healing here? What does it mean for our community to grow here?