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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

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 Idris Conry, June 21, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Idris Conry was born in 1952 in Brooklyn. He graduated from Boys' High School in Brooklyn and briefly played football for Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina before earning his bachelor of the arts in African American studies from John Jay College in Manhattan. He and his wife both embraced Islam in the 1970s and worshipped first at Masjid Ikhwa in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn and then at Masjid At-Taqwa in Bedford-Stuyvesant. In 2001, he opened Abu Baker's Bakery (now known as Abu's Homestyle Bakery) next door to Masjid At-Taqwa. The bakery is currently managed by his son, Idris Braithwaite (interviewed for this collection on July 7, 2018).

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Idris Conry discusses his family, his education at Boys High School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, and his semester-long scholarship to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He talks extensively about his Muslim faith and identity, including his initial exposure to the religion through his Muslim stepfather, his decision to embrace Islam, and his perspective on cultural traditions within the Muslim African American community. He also elaborates on his experiences at specific mosques, especially regarding Imam Khalid Yasin's leadership at Masjid Ikhwa in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn and community policing efforts by Masjid At-Taqwa in Bedford-Stuyvesant. In addition, he speaks about opening Abu Baker's Bakery (now known as Abu's Homestyle Bakery) next door to Masjid At-Taqwa, the bakery's focus on bean pies and their significance to the Muslim African American community, and future plans for the bakery. Interview conducted by Zaheer Ali.

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

  • Braithwaite, Idris
  • Conry, Idris
  • Yasin, Khalid

Subject Organizations

  • Abu's Homestyle Bakery (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Bears Football Team (Shaw University)
  • Boys' High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Masjid At-Taqwa (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Masjid Ikhwa (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • African American college athletes -- United States
  • African American cooking
  • African American Muslims -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • African American universities and college -- North Carolina -- Raleigh
  • Bakeries -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Black Muslims -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community policing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Family-owned business enterprises -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Food -- Religious aspects -- Islam
  • Islam -- Customs and practices
  • Islamic education of children -- New York (State) -- New York (State)
  • Music -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Muslim converts -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Prospect Park (New York, N.Y.)