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Guide to the Listen to This: Crown Heights Oral History collection 2010.020

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion

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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Porter, Evangeline, 2010 March 3

Biographical / Historical

Born in North Carolina in 1932 and raised there by her grandmother, Evangeline "Eve" Porter came to Brooklyn in 1953. She married at that time and lived on Sterling Street. In 1973, she moved to her own apartment on St. Charles Place. Eve Porter attended Howard University and graduated from the College of New Rochelle's School of New Resources in Brooklyn. She volunteered at her children's school, and later worked as a paraprofessional at Paul Robeson High School. Porter was a toll collector and a Passenger Service Agent at John F. Kennedy Airport; both under the aegis of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. She also worked as a guide for builders at the construction site of the North Tower at the World Trade Center. She has been a leader of the Crow Hill Community Association for decades, oversaw an offshoot organization in 1999 called the Franklin Avenue Commercial Revitalization Project, and acted as the secretary of the 77th Precinct Community Council.

Scope and Contents

In the interview, Evangeline "Eve" Porter recalls moving to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. She makes some pointed comments about the growth of the West Indian Carnival on Labor Day weekends. Eve Porter remembers her personal challenges with neighborhood blight in the 1970s and '80s and the stands she had to take. She speaks generally about forming a block association and doesn't refer to the Crow Hill Community Association by name. Porter makes a prediction about the neighborhood changes in 2020 to 2025. She laments the steep hikes in rent for business owners and shares an anecdote about prompting Assemblyman Roger Green to raise $250,000 for the association to make improvements in the neighborhood. She says a few final words about community involvement in general and how activism can thrive with young people's involvement. Interview conducted by Treverlyn Dehaarte, Floyya Richardson, Monica Parfait, and Alex Kelly.

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Access to the interview is available onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library. Use of the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of BHS. For assistance, contact

Subject Names

  • Green, Roger L. (Roger Leon)
  • Porter, Evangeline

Subject Organizations

  • Crow Hill Community Association (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • West Indian American Day Carnival Parade (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • African American neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Carnival -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community activists -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Crime -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Drug traffic -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Gentrification -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Older people -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Parades -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Rent -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Urban renewal -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Economic conditions |y 20th century
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Social conditions |y 20th century
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Franklin Avenue (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • North Carolina