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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

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Ramnauth, David, 2008 May 13

Biographical / Historical

David Ramnauth was the owner of Big Brother's Discount Hardware and Appliance. After immigrating to America in 1975 from the small village of Leguan, Guyana, Ramnauth grew up in Brooklyn and attended P.S. 93.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, David Ramnauth discusses his motivation for starting a business; he says the family's entrepreneurial spirit began in their hometown of Leguan, Guyana, where his mother started a donkey-cart vending venture. Ramnauth says that in America, the Ramnauths turned to licensed street vending to subsidize the high cost of living; but by saving their money, they eventually purchased Big Brother's Discount Hardware and Appliance. Ramnauth discusses the pros and cons of merchants' associations, business improvement districts, and gentrification. Ramnauth tells of his philanthropic philosophy, and reflects on the decline of the American small business. Interview conducted by Bahati Williams.

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

  • Dabu, Joel
  • Ramnauth, David

Subject Organizations

  • Fulton-Nostrand United Merchants Association

Subject Topics

  • Business enterprises -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Economic development -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Enterprise -ones -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Entrepreneurship -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Gentrification -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

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