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Guide to the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations oral history collection 2011.019

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Julia Lipkins with assistance from Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on July 31, 2015 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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Shawnta Smith, 2012 June 10

Biographical note

Shawnta Smith was born to a Belizean American mother and a Jamaican father and raised in the East Flatbush and Brownsville neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Smith received a B.S. in queer women's studies from the City University of New York, and an M.L.S. and M.F.A. in fiction from Queens College, all located in New York City. She worked as an archivist at the Lesbian Herstory Archives and as reference librarian at the City University of New York.

Scope and Contents

In the interview, Smith discusses her childhood and adolescence years in Brooklyn, New York; sexual identity; experiences as a queer activist; father's music and involvement in Rastafarianism; parents' divorce; and incidents of child abuse in her family. Interview conducted by Svetlana Kitto.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the interview is restricted. The Brooklyn Historical Society does not have permission to license oral history audio recordings or transcripts to third parties.

Subject Topics

  • African Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community activists -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Education -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Family violence
  • Gangs -- New York (State) -- Kings Country
  • Jamaicans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Queer identity

Subject Places

  • Brownsville (New York, N.Y.)
  • East Flatbush (New York, N.Y.)