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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

Container List

Staton, Meredith, 2010 April 7

Biographical / Historical

Meredith Staton was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1938. He moved to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights in his twenties. Staton served his country in the Vietnam War and as a United States Postal Service employee at home. He has been the Captain of the Auxiliary Police Unit for the 77th Precinct and served on Community Board Eight. He is a proponent of securing landmark status for features of the neighborhood and was vocal in how the community reacted to the Atlantic Yards project and how Crown Heights was redistricted. Statton is a husband and father, as well.

Scope and Contents

Meredith Staton begins the interview with a brief, recent history of the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, starting in the late 1800s. He points out the shift in the local demographics into what he calls an "integrated neighborhood." He speaks at length on community involvement by way of his volunteer position as Auxiliary Captain for the 77th Precinct of the New York Police Department. Staton explains the redistricting of Crown Heights into North and South. He discusses his feelings on war in general when prompted to talk about his service time in Vietnam. Staton focuses on the importance of education and resourcefulness of this era's urban youth, and urges them to understand the history of subjugation and segregation for African Americans and immigrants of color. He briefly recalls the historic events of Nelson Mandela's visit to Crown Heights in 1990 and the factors of the 1991 riot and his role in terms of security. Interview conducted by Floyya Richardson, Treverlyn Dehaarte, 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

  • Cato, Gavin
  • Mandela, Nelson
  • Staton, Meredith

Subject Organizations

  • Brooklyn Children's Museum
  • City University of New York. Medgar Evers College
  • Community Board No. 8 (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.). Police Department
  • Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History

Subject Topics

  • Children -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community activists -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Crime -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Education -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Gentrification -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Museums -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Older people -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Police -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Race identity
  • Riots -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

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