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Guide to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories 2008.030

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion and Maria Santiago

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 22, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Latif, Wadiya, 2008 January 7

Biographical / Historical

Wadiya Latif was born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in the Crown Heights and Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn, where she worshipped at the Presbyterian church, and attended P.S. 167, Walt Whitman Junior High, and Erasmus Hall High School. Both of Latif's parents were school teachers; her father rose to serve as the superintendent after whom Brooklyn's Walter Weaver Elementary School (P.S. 398) was named. Latif attended the historically Black Hampton University (also her mother's alma mater). As an adult Latif became employed at Restoration in January 1971, when its headquarters were still located at the Hotel Grenada. At the time of the interview, Latif worked as Restoration's commercial leasing manager with responsibility for Restoration Plaza.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Wadiya Latif, a long-time employee of Restoration, shares memories from Restoration's earliest years. She remembers the Home Improvement Program and the mortgage pool, officially named the Restoration Funding Corporation. Latif recalls Restoration's loss of funding from the Special Impact Program, and describes the organization's evolving goals as it navigated a new reality of reduced federal funding, including a period of layoffs. Latif recounts the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn's culture circa 1971, an accidental shooting that left her son paralyzed, her conversion to Sunni Islam, and discusses the lives of her three children. At the interview's end, Latif reflects on the importance of voting and healthy political leaders, particularly at the highest levels of government. Interview conducted by Sady Sullivan.

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Access to the interview is available onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online on the Oral History Portal. Use of the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires permission from BHS by contacting

Subject Names

  • Latif, Wadiyah

Subject Organizations

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
  • Hampton University (Va.)

Subject Topics

  • Activism
  • Civil rights movements -- United States -y 20th century
  • Community centers -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community development corporations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Conversion -- Islam
  • Fundraising -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Nonprofit organi-ations -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Presidents -- United States -x Election -y 2008

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)