Let me introduce you to four high school students on a mission. This is a mission to record, preserve and better understand their neighborhood’s history. I first met Floyya, Monica, Treverlyn and Quanaisha at Paul Robeson High School. They came to this project through Nixon Mercidieu, a school liaison for the Brooklyn College Community Partnership. He is working to place high school students in meaningful internships around Brooklyn.
“What do you know about Crown Heights history?” I asked the students at our first meeting. They looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. “Nothing,” Floyya said in summary.
The truth is, I don't know much about Crown Heights history either. As the students learn, I will learn too. In the upcoming months, Floyya, Monica, Treverlyn, Quanaisha and I will satisfy our collective curiosity. We will interview 60 people who have lived in Crown Heights for over 15 years. We will donate these interviews to Brooklyn Historical Society’s oral history collection and share parts of these interviews at a community listening event in May – a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Crow Hill Community Association.
We invite you to join us on our journey. Follow our blog as we explore the history of our neighborhood through the stories of people who have lived it. In February, we will be designing our project and recruiting people to tell their stories. Do you know someone with a story? Let us know.