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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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Taylor, Sarah, 2010 April 14

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Taylor was born in Estill, South Carolina in 1943. At age eight, she moved to Brooklyn with her family and initially lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Taylor has lived at a few Brooklyn addresses from childhood to adulthood, most prominently on Eastern Parkway, and in 1980, she moved to a home on St. Charles Place. She attended P.S. 44, 35 and 258, then Girls' High School, where she ran on the track team. Taylor's mother died while the young woman was still in high school, and taking a job became a greater priority than attending college. She first worked for the New York City Department of Social Services. After nine years, she left for a job with Shirley Chisholm's election campaign. She gave her time to The Muse museum in Brooklyn, and worked for many years at the Ford Foundation. She was retired as of 2010. She has been a leader of the Crow Hill Community Association for decades; taking the positions of Secretary, Vice President and a project manager.

Scope and Contents

Sarah Taylor begins the interview with her admiration for the Crown Heights neighborhood and remembers the homes she has lived in for her fifty years in Brooklyn. She gives an overview of Crow Hill Community Association (CHCA), the origin of the name, inspiration for organizing, and speaks at length on the important work accomplished by the organization. Taylor addresses the question of where Weeksville and Crow Hill were located and names the present and previous directors of the Weeksville Heritage Society. She talks about that group's efforts to renovate and her turn as the "Weeksville Lady." Taylor reflects on meeting Eve Porter and the roles they created within CHCA. She remembers her childhood schools, homes and transportation; contrasting her South Carolina youth with her Brooklyn youth. She talks about the civil service, non-profit and volunteer work she's done outside of CHCA and closes with an appreciation of Crown Heights. 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

  • Green, Roger L. (Roger Leon)
  • Taylor, Sarah

Subject Organizations

  • Crow Hill Community Association (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Girls' High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History

Subject Topics

  • African American neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • 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
  • Multiculturalism
  • Older people -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Urban renewal -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • 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.)
  • Eastern Parkway (New York, N.Y.)
  • Franklin Avenue (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  • South Carolina