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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated access restrictions.  , April 2019

Container List

Oral History Interview with Shahana Hanif, April 17, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Shahana Hanif was born in 1991 in Brooklyn. She was raised in the Bangladeshi community in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn. After a health crisis as a teenager led to a diagnosis of lupus, she went on to earn a bachelor's degree in women's and gender studies from Brooklyn College. While there, she became involved in intersectional activism and community organizing, especially with the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) and Naree Shongothok: Bangladeshi Women Organizing for Social Change. She also worked as Director of Organizing and Community Engagement for New York City council member Brad Lander.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Shahana Hanif discusses growing up in a Bangladeshi American family in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn, including her relationship with her sister, the impact strict gender roles had on their religious educations and social lives, receiving a diagnosis of lupus as a teenager, and her subsequent navigation of health and accessibility limitations. She also talks about her exploration of intersectionality and activism in college, especially regarding her disability, religion, and race. In addition, she speaks about internet activism and specific organizations and causes she became involved in, especially Naree O Shongothok, the Muslim Writers Collective, the Kensington Stewards, and a local ladies' club. Interview conducted by Liz H. Strong.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • Hanif, Shahana
  • Lander, Brad

Subject Organizations

  • Church Avenue Merchants Block Association, Inc. (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Global Spiritual Life (New York University)
  • Kensington Stewards (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Muslim Student Association (Brooklyn College)
  • Muslim Writers Collective
  • Naree O Shongothok: Bangladeshi Women Organizing for Social Change
  • The Kensington Family Shelter (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • Bangladeshi Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Children of immigrants -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Communities -- Religious aspects -- Muslims
  • Health services accessibility -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Internet and activism
  • Intersectionality (Sociology)
  • Islam -- Prayers and devotions
  • Islamophobia -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Lupus -- Patients -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • People with disabilities -- Political activity -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Shelters for the homeless -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Women in community organization -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Kensington (New York, N.Y.)