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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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Brown, Johanna, 2014 March 16

Scope and Contents

In the interview, Johanna Brown discusses moving to a predominantly Jewish section of the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, White flight and the decline of services in the area, racism and resistance to integrating public schools, interracial friendships, life at the Linden Houses and Starrett City, United Community Centers, the devastating effect of drugs on the community, the rise of crime and violence (including the murder of a school friend), and the effect of gentrification on the future of the neighborhood. The interview was conducted by Sarita Daftary-Steel at Brown's home in East New York.

Approximately twelve minutes of the interview has been removed for privacy reasons.

Biographical note

Johanna Brown was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954. Her father was an African American who was born in Georgia, raised in Philadelphia, and moved to New York after serving in World War II. Her mother was the daughter of African immigrants from Cape Verde. In 1960, her family moved from the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn to Ashford Street in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. The family later moved to the Linden Houses, and finally to the Starrett City (Spring Creek) section of the neighborhood, where she continues to live with her son (as of 2015). She attended PS 108, Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School for Girls, and Thomas Jefferson High School, and now works for the New York City Transit Authority.

Subject Names

  • Brown, Johanna

Subject Organizations

  • Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School for Girls (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Linden Houses (Housing complex)
  • P.S. 108 (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • P.S. 158 (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Starrett City (Housing complex)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • United Community Centers, Inc

Subject Topics

  • African Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Crime -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Drug traffic -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Gentrification -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Housing -- 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
  • School integration -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

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