At The Lay Out in Brooklyn, Black People Are Reclaiming Their Space

In the heart of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, on Sunday a scene of Black neighborhood natives, families, business owners, and pedestrians could be spotted headed toward The Lay Out in celebration of Juneteenth. The Lay Out started in June 2020 after the devastating murder of George Floyd by founders Emily Anadu, Manushka Magloire, Cyrus Aaron, Briyonah Mcclain, and Michael Oloyede. To uplift one another, the co-founders have created an annual space for Black people to picnic, dance, and be free for Juneteenth. There’s only one goal: to take up space.

“For me especially, I just wanted to see Black people in the park again. We are very clear, we are all about reclaiming and claiming space and being together. It’s about joy and happiness,” Anadu tells Vogue. When it comes to a good time, The Lay Out team are pros. With partners such as The Brooklyn Museum and Rooftop Films, they offer curated events throughout the year, proving what a safe space for Black people can look like. Juneteenth marks one of the biggest events on the calendar for TLO. “It only gets bigger every year,” says Anadu.

Nestled under the shady trees at the top of Fort Greene Park, attendees gathered in their best picnic-to-party attire. As the music filled the space children could be seen playing or friends greeting each other with a welcoming hug. A single Juneteenth flag attached to a tree waved in the breeze, a reminder of the day’s significance.

Wardrobe was an important part of the day’s festivities. Some attendees were dressed in historic vintage tees with signage reading “Juneteenth,” or “Still Trippin.’” One person wore an oversized shirt with the face of former president Barack Obama placed on the front. To no surprise, there was a vast display of Black designers, including garments by Hanifa, vintage Black Market Vintage, and too many Telfar totes to count. Below, you can view a proud display of self-expression and Black excellence.

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