Last week, BHS had the pleasure of a visit from Alex Kelly and four high school students who are working on an oral history project in Crown Heights in collaboration with the Crow Hill Community Association. They came to BHS to read transcripts from an oral history project BHS conducted with residents of Crown Heights in 1993-1994; 33 interviews conducted by Craig Wilder, Jill Vexler, and Aviva Segall. You can find out more about the BHS Crown Heights Oral History Collection: Bridging Eastern Parkway, 1993-1994 here. The subtitle of the project, Bridging Eastern Parkway, refers to racial tensions expressed during the 1991 Crown Heights riot. People sometimes wonder why this oral history project didn’t start until 1993 when the riot occurred in 1991, and one answer is that the events in Crown Heights in August of 1991 received additional attention during the NYC Mayoral Race of 1993. Rudy Giuliani was running against David Dinkins, then Mayor of New York (and the first African American person to hold the position). During the campaign, Dinkins was criticized for his response to the 1991 Crown Heights riot. Giuliani had lost to Dinkins in the 1989 election but in 1993 he won and went on to serve as Mayor from 1994-2001.
Check out this blog post one student wrote about their visit to BHS.
BHS looks forward to hearing more about their project!