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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

Camara, Karim, 2010 May 19

Biographical / Historical

Karim Camara was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1971. He spent his early childhood living in Crown Heights South on a diverse Brooklyn block of African American and Jewish families. After graduating college, Camara - who comes from a family of Christian ministers - decided to become a pastor as well as enter politics as state assemblyman for the 43rd district, representing his lifelong neighborhood. In February 2015, he vacated his seat to become executive director of the Office of Faith-Based Community Development as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration. Camara holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Masters of Divinity from the New York Theological Seminary.

Scope and Contents

In the interview, Karim Camara offers interviewers biographical details - including the multifarious Crown Heights, Brooklyn of his childhood. He talks about what led him to the ministry, as well as the New York State Assembly. Camara discusses government funding, President Obama, his hectic dual work schedules and treating others with respect. He describes the homes and people who make up his district as well as his relations with constituents. Camara also goes over the difficulty of accurate census-taking and its importance in the allocation of tax dollars. Interview conducted by Monica Parfait, 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

  • Camara, Karim
  • Obama, Barack

Subject Topics

  • African American neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Census
  • Community activists -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community development -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Education -- New York (State)
  • Family life -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Fundraising -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Home ownership -x Social aspects -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Jewish neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Multiculturalism
  • Municipal government -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Religious life and customs
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • New York (State) |x Politics and government