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

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
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

Sutton, Sandra, 2010 April 5

Biographical / Historical

Sandra Sutton was born and raised in a small town in North Carolina. She attended high school and college in the state, as well. One of several children, she came to Brooklyn with sisters in the mid-1980s while her brothers went into the armed services. While living with a sister in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, she married at age thirty and purchased a home nearby. Taking her husband's name, Gibbs, she taught at P.S. 41 in Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood. The couple didn't have children and divorced after ten years. After some library experience during her eighteen years of teaching, Sutton studied Library Science at Pratt Institute and received her master's degree. She was hired by Brooklyn Public Library and worked at the Eastern Parkway branch at the time of the interview in 2010. In 2015, she was a Neighborhood Library Supervisor at the Red Hook branch.

Scope and Contents

Sandra Sutton offers some basic information about her history in North Carolina, moving to Brooklyn, getting married and divorced, and settling in the Crown Heights neighborhood. She reflects on the changing demographic of homeowners around her home and how it has left her feeling less connected to her community. She talks about her teaching career, regrets in life, and offers advice to young people. She describes the process that she went through to become a librarian and champions libraries in general and her workplace in particular, the Eastern Parkway branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Sutton reflects on the contrasts between her youth in North Carolina and her adult life in Brooklyn. Interview conducted by 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

  • Sutton, Sandra

Subject Organizations

  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • New York (N.Y.). Department of Education

Subject Topics

  • Education -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Ethnic neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Family life -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Gentrification -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Home ownership -x Social aspects -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Librarians -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Libraries -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Parents -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Social life and customs
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Eastern Parkway (New York, N.Y.)
  • North Carolina