God's Gang

Subtitle

Green Cheeks Library History
Green Cheeks Heritage Exhibits

The Evolution of the Village exhibit begins in Mother Africa, and combines the teachings of history, stewardship of the land, the understanding that we came from a race of princes and warriors and that we are born survivors. It is as an educational opportunity to teach African American children to learn and appreciate their history as others, such as the Jewish community, teach the history of the Holocaust providing countless opportunities for positive peer interaction, and discussion.

The core of this exhibit was created in 2005 with a nod to the Milwaukee Holocaust Museum to recognize our beginnings. Through donations and trips to thrift shops, we have added pieces. Some are representational of their associated periods while we seek authentic pieces.

We want to present an exhibit that is touchable and in environments accessible to the community: Shackles, barrels, wells, iron pots, cotton plants, blacksmith tools for the 19thcentury, wooden telephones, upright typewriter, stove on legs, turntables for the 20th. Many items invented by, or by-products of, African American inventions. We want to show how to trace your family roots through census records and oral histories and give face to history. Connecting the great-grandmother that scrubbed distant floors and raised ‘Masta’s  chillun’ leaving her own to raise themselves, with latchkey kids of the 50’s in isolated Bronzeville, and the disconnected children of today.

This project incorporates history, challenges the viewer to read and research.

Ashley Bryant


Nankeen Heirloom Cotton

Planted at the Roseland site and the Dawson IL satellite.
Pre-1860 heirloom. Seed and history generously supplied by John House III of the Mansfield State Commemorative Area, Mansfield, LA. Nankeen is a short fiber, naturally brown cotton that has been grown since the Civil War. The lint is a non-fading attractive dark copper color that actually becomes brighter as it is washed. The seed retains the lint, making it easy to spin off the seed. Branches of the plant are longer and thinner and leaves more finely divided than other cotton. Unlike modern hybrids, its blooming cycle is longer, it grows well in poor dry soil, is hardier than modern breeds, and appears to have slightly better insect resistance. 'Nankeen' is planted as an ornamental in some parts of Louisiana. This variety also makes a fine addition to flower arrangements. The white and pink-red blooms start in mid-summer

 

Heirloom Farming

An heirloom vegetable is commonly defined as an open-pollinated variety that is more than 50 years old. Heirloom varieties are grown as a way to diversify crop gene pools.

Using historical planting techniques, God's Gang Planting Dreams students share ecology information, how to grow and harvest food, man's stewardship of the earth and its animals, and basic gardening and landscaping maintenance skills.  

Examples of heirloom farming and culturally influenced areas that we have created in the past.
All selected plants were chosen for their historical significance.

African
The Grasses, Yams and Okra. Arican slaves introduced grain and sweet sorghum, melons, okra, and peanuts

 

Hispanic Mandala system of permaculture.
Chile peppers, Beans, tomatilos,

Native American
Will feature the traditional Three Sisters: inter-planted beans and squash with corn, using the strength of the sturdy corn stalks to support the beans and the shade of the spreading squash vines to trap moisture for the growing crop.

Southern Comfort Zone
Kale, Peanuts, Green Grapes, Bell Peppers, Pole Beans

Weaver's Garden
Flax, Cotton, Milkweed and natural dyeing plants