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Guide to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories 2008.030

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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

Lewis, Stuart, 2008 January 30

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Stuart Lewis was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1961, when he was a young boy. In 1974 he graduated from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lewis practiced surgery in Brooklyn before becoming the Medical Director for the New York City Transit Authority, where he served for thirteen years. At the time of the interview, Dr. Lewis held a private practice. Prior to starting medical school, Dr. Lewis helped found Youth in Action, a youth anti-poverty organization. From 1966 to 1969 he was the Director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps, a component of Youth in Action. A longstanding community organizer and philanthropist, he served as the Chairman of the Board of Restoration from 1997 to 2000.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Dr. Stuart Lewis describes his personal activist mission, his interest in capital formation and the eradication of poverty, the economic state of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and greater Brooklyn, and his time with Youth in Action in the 1960s. He discusses the initial division in duties between Restoration and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Development and Services Corporation, and reviews why his last act as Chairman merged the two divisions. He tells the history of Weeksville and its discovery. Lewis recounts the African American contributions to a diverse community and states the role of arts and culture in society. 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 library@brooklynhistory.org.

Subject Names

  • Inniss, Charles E.
  • Lewis, Stuart, Dr.

Subject Organizations

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Development and Services Corporation
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth in Action
  • Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History

Subject Topics

  • African Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Business enterprises -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community centers -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community development corporations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Community development, Urban -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Economic development -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Housing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Philanthropists -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

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