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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

Vann, Albert, 2008 April 10

Biographical / Historical

Albert Vann was born in 1934 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. At age eighteen, Vann joined the United States Marine Corps, eventually rising to the rank of sergeant. After leaving the military, Vann earned bachelor's and Toledo master's degrees in the field of education. Originally an educator, Vann's career has included service as both teacher and administrator in Brooklyn public schools, and founding of the African American Teachers Association. At the time of the 2008 interview, Vann was a member of the New York City Council, representing the 36th Council District (which includes parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant), and was a thirty-year Assemblyman of the New York City Council. A Democrat, Vann catalyzed two major court cases which helped to expand minority representation in New York government. He was also one of the founders of the City University of New York's Medgar Evers College.

Scope and Contents

In this first of two interviews, Albert Vann details his early career as an educator, his start as a school teacher, and rise into administration. He describes his involvement in the "civil rights movement of education," founding the Negro Teacher's Association (now the African American Teacher's Association), organizing Black teachers, and involving parents. He discusses his personal political history, his relationship to Restoration as an elected official and community member, and funding sources and problems with funding. 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

  • Kennedy, Robert F.
  • Thomas, Franklin A.
  • Vann, Albert

Subject Organizations

  • New York (N.Y.). City Council
  • New York (State). Legislature

Subject Topics

  • African Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Black nationalism -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Civil rights movements -- United States -y 20th century
  • Community development corporations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Education -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.) |x Social conditions
  • New York (State) |x Politics and government
  • United States |x History