Listen to This: Crown Heights Oral History collection

Call number: 2010.020

Extent: 15.9 gigabytes in 187 files, total running time: 21 hr., 17 min., 51 sec.; .21 linear feet in 1 document box

This collection of forty-three oral history interviews with Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood residents was donated to the Brooklyn Historical Society by project director Alexandra Kelly. The interviews were conducted in 2010 with the help of the Crow Hill Community Association and five students from Paul Robeson High School who came to the project through the Brooklyn College Community Partnership (BCCP). Included are perspectives from community activists, artists, business owners, retirees and young people. Many are native to the New York metropolitan area. Several others have come from other states, as well as Caribbean nations and Central American countries. Narrators discuss the history of Crown Heights, their childhood and schooling, the changing landscape and ethnic makeup of the community over decades, their parenting and careers, volunteerism and activism, and mentoring or advising young people.

View Finding Aid


  • Brooklyn College.
  • Brooklyn Historical Society (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).
  • Crow Hill Community Association (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).
  • Kelly, Alexandra
  • Paul Robeson High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.).


  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Social conditions
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Social life and customs
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • United States |x Emigration and immigration


  • African American neighborhoods — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Children — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Community activists
  • Community centers — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Education — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Ethnic neighborhoods — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Gentrification — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Girls -x Education — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Intergenerational relations — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Jewish neighborhoods — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Judaism
  • Multiculturalism
  • Race identity
  • Schools — New York (State) — Kings County

Types of materials:

  • Interviews (sound recordings)
  • Oral histories (document genres)

If you'd like to make an appointment to use this collection, or have a question, please fill out our online form.