In celebration of the upcoming premiere of the second season of TBS’ No. 1 cable comedy show, “The Last O.G.,” TBS and GrownNYC gave the Hattie Carthan Community Garden a fresh look. “The Last O.G.” star Tracy Morgan returned home to Brooklyn, New York, along with his wife and daughter to host a special garden party to bring awareness of the need for community gardens and green spaces in urban communities throughout New York City.
The premise of “The Last O.G.” is the story of so many millions of Black men coming home from prison and not only navigating their rapidly gentrifying communities, but relationships with their children and families, and even technology, after spending a significant amount of time away. It has to resonate for the estimated 25 percent of African American children in this country who have a parent who is currently or formerly incarcerated.
At the close of the event, Morgan made a touching speech that highlighted his love for pouring back into the community that raised him. “I promise you I’m not going to ever leave you. Be good. I love you, and you heard that from me,” Morgan said to the kids. “When we see each other in the streets, let’s act like we know each other, all right? That’s the problem with my community, we became strangers. Look at all of us in here right now. I cried last year when we did that in Marcy. We haven’t done that in a long time. We have food here, music. The DJ, he’s ready to spin. Let’s do this. I ain’t going nowhere. Let’s have a good time.”
Award-winning chef JJ Johnson was on hand to present a cooking demonstration showing how to make coleslaw with a unique, fruity twist. Johnson also whipped up two varieties of gumbo, one inspired by Bedford-Stuyvesant and a vegan version for attendees to taste along with grilled potato salad and pork shoulder sandwiches.
Also in attendance was a young woman from Brooklyn who created the mural for the community garden, Tiffany B. Chanel, who says that the mural is her biggest work to date. “This mural is my first project,” said Chanel, who noted that her mother, who is also a self-taught artist, helped her with the piece. “It was great, and a big learning experience.”
Catch season two of “The Last O.G.” on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. EST on TBS.
Photo gallery credit: Getty Images for TBS