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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

Bogan, Ken, 2010 May 19

Biographical / Historical

Ken Bogan was born in Clarksville, Texas in 1958. On a trip to New York after completing graduate school at Duke University, he decided to stay and resided in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights for one year, before moving to Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1991. Bogan's father, who ran for mayor of their tiny Texas town, and grandfather - who was a union organizer - both taught him the importance of political activism at a young age. As a pastor, youth outreach worker and former political fundraiser, Bogan followed in his family footsteps. This journey would eventually lead him to the neighborhood at the time of the 1991 riot. As minister of the Greater Restoration Baptist Church and board member of Project CARE - which aims to bring together members of the Black and Hasidic communities - Bogan continues to work with Crown Heights residents.

Scope and Contents

Pastor Ken Bogan shares details from his small town Texas childhood, as well as the highs and lows of his adult life and career. He recounts his first trip to New York after graduate school, his decision to stay and his early experiences as a seminary graduate-turned-community organizer. Pastor Bogan recalls moving to Crown Heights, Brooklyn during the apex of civil unrest in 1991 and his work trying to reconcile racial and cultural differences as well as foster new connections between the Black and Hasidic communities. He also reveals his past struggles with faith and predisposition for depression, in addition to offering advice on the importance of humility and communication. Interview conducted by 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

  • Bogan, Ken
  • Fulani, Lenora

Subject Topics

  • African American neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • African Americans -- Relations with Jews
  • Children -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Christian life -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community activists -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Jewish neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Migration, Internal -- United States
  • Multiculturalism
  • Political participation -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Race relations -- United States
  • Riots -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Theology

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Social life and customs
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Texas