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Guide to the Sarita Daftary-Steel collection of East New York oral histories 2015.011

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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by John Zarrillo

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 01, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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Richardson, Toni, 2015 February 6

Biographical note

Toni Richardson was born in Manhattan around 1951. Her mother was a Black American who was born in South Carolina and migrated to Brooklyn, and her father was also a descendent of Southern Black Americans. Her family lived in the Amsterdam Houses in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan until 1957, when her father got a job with the New York City Transit Authority and they moved to the Linden Houses in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. Richardson attended PS 224, PS 190, and Thomas Jefferson High School. As a teenager, she was an active member of United Community Centers. She lived in Linden Houses until 1972, and her mother continued to live in the Houses until she passed many years later. She now lives in Ossining, New York, and has worked for IBM for much of her life.

Scope and Contents

In the interview, Toni Richardson discusses moving from the Amsterdam Houses to the Linden Houses in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1957, growing up in the neighborhood and interracial friendships, race relations as a teenager, attending Thomas Jefferson High School, her involvement with United Community Centers, the decline of services in the Linden Houses as the residents shifted from predominantly White to Black, the poor quality of education in local schools, her career as a Black woman at IBM, and systemic racism and its effect on society. The interview was conducted by Sarita Daftary-Steel at Richardson's home in Ossining, New York.

Subject Names

  • Richardson, Toni

Subject Organizations

  • International Business Machines Corporation
  • Linden Houses (Housing complex)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • United Community Centers, Inc

Subject Topics

  • African Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Education -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Public housing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Public schools -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Race relations -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Racism in the workplace
  • School integration -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Social classes -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Urban policy -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • East New York (New York, N.Y.) |x Social conditions