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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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Robinson, Annette, 2008 February 1

Biographical / Historical

Assemblywoman Annette Robinson was born in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from New Hampshire College. A member of the Democratic Party, much of Robinson's adult life was spent in public service. In 1977, she was elected to the Community School Board of District 16, where she served three terms. She served six years in the administration of former New York City comptroller Harrison J. Goldin, and afterward became the District Director for U.S. Congressman Major R. Owens. Robinson was elected to the New York City Council in 1991 as a representative of the 36th district; and in 2002 assumed office in the New York State Assembly. There she represented District 56, which includes most of Bedford-Stuyvesant, along with the Crown Heights and Bushwick neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Robinson had six children and was married for over fifty years to William Robinson (deceased).

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson speaks of her long ties to Restoration, and the impact it's had on the local community. She reminisces about the idyllic Bedford-Stuyvesant of her youth, during a time when the community was protective of its children, and neighbors closely watched community goings-on. Robinson describes the necessity of programs that increase children's sense of self-worth and personal expectations, particularly those in the arts and education, and workforce development and jobs training for teenagers. Robinson maintains close ties with a number of international municipalities; for instance in Brazil, Panama, and South Africa. She describes the importance of cooperative learning programs in uncovering novel solutions to shared problems. At the interview's end, Robinson reflects on her motivations as a politician, and reveals that her original life dream was to be a professional dancer. 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

  • Robinson, Annette (Annette M.)
  • Vann, Albert

Subject Organizations

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Development and Services Corporation
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Subject Topics

  • Community development corporations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Community development, Urban -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community organi-ing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Economic development -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Enterprise -ones -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Housing -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brazil
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Politics and government
  • New York (State) |x Politics and government
  • South Africa