BRER RABBIT DAY
Brer Rabbit Day is our favorite fictitious black holiday! We love it because it uses the process of creating a fictitious black cultural holiday to do two things. The 1st is to explore the retention of black trickster folktales (and other aspects of their original African cultures) by black folks whose families were transported to the Americas via the slave trade. The 2nd is to explore the relative newness of Afro-American cultural holidays (Black History Month, Juneteenth, Kwanzaa, and Martin Luther King Day) and how our individual methods of celebrating them are shaping their evolution.
On May 1, 2011 Cousins teamed up with Lloyd & Hillary Porter of Breadstuy, her favorite local bakery to perform this score. To kick it off, she made up eight tall tales about the holiday's origin including the ones told in the videos below.
In 2013, Cousins received a grant to form a “Brer Rabbit Day Committee” by helping 15 Brooklyn residents create their own interpretations of Brer Rabbit Day. With the help of Gather Brooklyn, they organized a public Brer Rabbit Day celebration in BedStuy which was attending by a whopping 200 residents. They organized a second Brer Rabbit Day celebration in 2014. Click here for photos.