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They Did Not Know We Were Seeds 

Hey Y'all, Tanya Nixon-Silberg here.


I am thrilled to share with you my first public art piece, They Did Not Know We Were Seeds* coming to Boston June, 2023.  



Growing and glowing in all their glory at the Parker Hill Branch of the Boston Public Library in Roxbury, MA, Seeds is a large (5'x5'x5') cylindrical planter growing Indigo plants. The structure holds a delightful secret, a miniature puppet theater that comes to life with a maneuverable Black puppet jump-roping through historical Black Boston. The puppeteer ( you!) are invited to generate a little Black girl's joy.


The project was conceived though the guidance of Now and There's  Public art Accelerator program where 5 artists participate in workshops and activities geared toward producing a public art piece.  The artists are then tasked with pitching their idea to a jury to receive $25,000 to bring their ideas to fruition. In February 2023 I was granted the funds and Seeds is opening June 10, 2023! 


On view now at the  Parker Hill Branch of the Boston Public Library, 1497 Tremont St, Roxbury, MA. 


Programming around They Did Not Know We Were Seeds is multigenerational. There will be scheduled (and impromptu) story hours with children honoring joy in Blackness and also ceremony and workshops that center the understanding of history, methods, and healing properties associated with indigo dyeing in the community with adults. 

*Adapted from a poem by Dinos Christianopoulos, "They tried to bury us but, they did not know I was a seeds."  The idea that those who have suffered immensely might help bear the fruits of justice later on has taken on a global resonance, one that extends over time and space to movements in the United States. In this case, I use this term as a rallying cry reminding Black women to remember and step into to the resiliency and magic of Blackness. This piece is truly an ode to Black women focusing on bodily remembrances of joy and resistance. They Did Not Know We Were Seeds intends to serve as a meeting point for healing and a moment to remember that joy and care are part of our collective legacy.

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