Brooklyn Historical Society Events

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2019 Winter & Spring Programs

Calendar of Programs

 JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS TOURS

Unless specified otherwise, all public programs take place at BHS Pierrepont
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

January

Fifty Years and Counting: Lessons from the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Teachers StrikeFifty Years and Counting: Lessons from the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Teachers Strike
Mon, Jan 14, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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The 1968-69 school year was shattered when the local Brooklyn community of Ocean Hill-Brownsville, in an effort to gain educational self-determination, clashed with the United Federation of Teachers. The conflict escalated into a citywide strike, laying bare the city’s simmering racial anxiety and stark academic disparity. Hear past voices from the front lines of this history, including Charles Isaacs, former teacher and author of Inside Ocean Hill–Brownsville A Teacher's Education, 1968-69, and Monifa Edwards, the 1969 valedictorian at the school that started it all, JHS 271. Joining them are Pratt Institute’s Heather Lewis, author of New York City Public Schools from Brownsville to Bloomberg: The Community Control Movement and its Legacy. Moderated by Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director of Brooklyn Movement Center.

Presented in partnership with Brooklyn Movement Center.


On Fury and Feminism: Rebecca Traister in Conversation with Julie ScelfoOn Fury and Feminism: Rebecca Traister in Conversation with Julie Scelfo
Tue, Jan 15, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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How has women’s anger been perceived, maligned, and embraced in US history? New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Traister helps us to understand the current day in Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger. She is joined in conversation by writer and journalist Julie Scelfo.


Race and Gender in American PoliticsRace and Gender in American Politics
Wed, Jan 16, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members

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As a new Congress convenes in Washington, Brooklyn Historical Society and the Social Science Research Council gather a panel of experts to discuss the role that race and gender continue to play in American politics. Christina Greer, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University and author of the book, Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream, Tsedale M. Melaku, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Graduate Center, CUNY and author of the 2019 forthcoming book You Don't Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism, and Jamila Michener, author of Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics, will reflect on the implications of the midterm elections, given the successes (and setbacks) of women and people of color as candidates, and the evolving nature of participation and representation in American politics.

Part of BHS's ongoing programming collaboration with the Social Science Research Council


Bank of America Presents History Makers: Journalist, Activist and Anti-Lynching Crusader, Ida B. WellsBank of America Presents History Makers
Journalist, Activist and Anti-Lynching Crusader, Ida B. Wells

Wed, Jan 23, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Ida B. Wells, born into slavery in 1862 and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, devoted her life to the fight against racism, sexism and anti-black violence. Hear her story as told by Paula J. Giddings, Smith College professor and author of the award-winning biography, Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching.

Leading While Muslim: School Principals as a Case StudyLeading While Muslim: School Principals as a Case Study
Thu, Jan 24, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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How have the events of September 11th impacted American Muslim leaders? What effects do today’s media coverage of Muslims and political discourse have? Join us for an exploration of post-9/11 Islamophobia and its impact on American Muslim leaders, as seen through the lens of Muslim public school principals. Dr. Debbie Almontaser, author of Leading While Muslim: The Experiences of American Muslim Principals After 9/11, NYU Professor of Educational Leadership Gary Anderson, and HuffPost’s Rowaida Abdelaziz are moderated by BHS Oral Historian, Zaheer Ali.

This conversation takes place in celebration of the release of Dr. Almontaser's new book, Leading While Muslim: The Experiences of American Muslim Principals After 9/11.


Petty Crimes and Petty Laws: A Hard Look at the Broken Misdemeanor SystemPetty Crimes and Petty Laws: A Hard Look at the Broken Misdemeanor System
Mon, Jan 28, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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When misdemeanors carry disproportionate punishments, and bail is unreasonably sought, the upshot is a tragically unjust justice system. Join Alexandra Natapoff, author of the new book Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal, along with Executive Director of the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Peter Goldberg, and Darryl Herring, Community Leader with VOCAL-NY, as they dismantle the predatory nature of our inflated misdemeanor and bail systems, which too often target the low-income and communities of color. Moderated by BuzzFeed News criminal justice reporter Albert Samaha.

Presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.


Martha Rubin Conversation on Racial Equity: The Blinding of a Soldier and the Dawn of the Civil Rights MovementMartha Rubin Conversation on Racial Equity
The Blinding of a Soldier and the Dawn of the Civil Rights Movement

Wed, Jan 30, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members

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In February 1946, black WWII veteran Sergeant Isaac Woodard was forced off the bus he rode home from the War, arrested, beaten, and blinded in the sheriff’s custody. This act of violence propelled Judge J. Waties Waring, who presided over the criminal case brought against the sheriff, to take on landmark civil rights cases, including some that laid the groundwork for the legal milestone Brown v. Board of Education. Revisit this history with Judge Richard Gergel, who today sits on Judge Waring's bench and recounts this story in his book Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Igniting of the Civil Rights Movement. Gergel is joined in a conversation by Woodard’s nephew and caretaker, Robert Young, and President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Sherrilyn Ifill. Moderated by legal scholar Leon Friedman.


February

If These Walls Could TalkIf These Walls Could Talk
Sat, Feb 2, 10:00 am
$20 / $10 for Members
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Uncover the secret history of your Brooklyn home or block! In this intensive workshop you’ll gain hands-on experience conducting house research in our library, using archival images, records, and documents. Led by Brooklyn Historical Society Reference Librarian Cecily Dyer.


Grassy Grassroots: Citizens Creating ParksGrassy Grassroots: Citizens Creating Parks
Mon, Feb 4, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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In a time of accelerating real estate development and a pressing need for equitable access to green space, how can everyday citizens organize to bring vacant land and unrealized landscapes into the public realm? Join The Trust for Public Land Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development Adrian Benepe in a conversation with Bronx River Alliance Outreach Manager Joseph Sanchez, The Tanks at Bushwick Inlet Park Co-Founder and Executive Director Stacey Anderson, NYCH2O Founder and Executive Director and Ridgewood Reservoir project leader Matthew Malina.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Means of a Ready Escape: Brooklyn's Prospect Park.


The Swindler of Brooklyn Heights: The Family History of the Greatest Con Man of the Gilded AgeThe Swindler of Brooklyn Heights: The Family History of the Greatest Con Man of the Gilded Age
Thu, Feb 7, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members

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There is a bad apple on the family tree of Emmy Award-winning writer and historian Geoffrey C. Ward: his great grandfather was Ferdinand Ward, whose meteoric rise to become “the Young Napoleon of Wall Street” and sudden, shocking fall he chronicles in his book A Disposition to be Rich. Join Ward as he shares his nefarious ancestor’s story from his small town boyhood, to his brief heyday in Brooklyn’s most exclusive neighborhood, to the crash that ruined U.S. Grant, took down Wall Street, and made him “the most hated man in America.”


Bank of America presents History Makers: Chris Matthews discusses Robert F. KennedyBank of America Presents History Makers
Chris Matthews discusses Robert F. Kennedy

Sat, Feb 9, 4:00 pm
$15 / $5 for Members
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In his best-selling biography, Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit, Chris Matthews, anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball, pulls back the curtain on one of the great figures of the 20th century. Join him as he draws on extensive research and interviews for a look at the life and man.

Black-Owned Businesses: A History of Enterprise and Community in BrooklynBlack-Owned Businesses: A History of Enterprise and Community in Brooklyn
Mon, Feb 11, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Explore the rich history and social impact of businesses owned by and serving black communities in Brooklyn. Historian Jason Bartlett is joined by Cynthia Gordy Giwa and Glenn Alan of the online publication Black-Owned Brooklyn and Jyll Hubbard-Salk, founder of Crown Heights yoga studio Urban Asanas to discuss the challenges and triumphs of the network of black business owners then and now, and how growing economic empowerment has tied directly to the struggle for equality. Moderated by Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and host of What’s Eating Harlem?, Selena Hill.

Presented in connection with the exhibition The Business of Brooklyn.


Book Talk: Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to SegregationBook Talk: Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation
Tue, Feb 19, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Plessy v. Ferguson, the infamous legal case that upheld the racist notion of “separate but equal,” codified segregation and launched one of our county’s most depraved chapters. Long-time senior editor at The Washington Post, Steve Luxenberg, examines the social upheaval that gave rise to Plessy, and looks at those who supported the ruling and championed its dissent.


Beauty, Media, Money, and More: A Conversation with Tressie McMillan CottomBeauty, Media, Money, and More: A Conversation with Tressie McMillan Cottom
Mon, Feb 25, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members

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In her new book Thick and Other Essays, Tressie McMillan Cottom—award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed—embraces her venerated role as a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and Black Twitter snark about all that is right and much that is wrong with this thing we call society. She is joined in conversation by Harlem-based writer, Morgan Jerkins, author of the New York Times bestseller This Will Be My Undoing.


Book Talk: Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of ViolenceBook Talk: Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence
Tue, Feb 26, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members

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Kellie Jackson, assistant professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College, examines the political and social tensions preceding the American Civil War and the conditions and that led some black abolitionists to believe that slavery might only be abolished by violence.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom.


The Halls of Hope: Voices from Obama's West WingThe Halls of Hope: Voices from Obama's West Wing
Thu, Feb 28, 4:00 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Revisit a hopeful moment in recent history as BHS welcomes some of the trailblazing staffers from the administration of former president Barack Obama. Join Obama’s intelligence officer and Special Assistant Ned Price, White House Social Secretary Deesha Dyer, and Special Assistant and Principal Deputy Director of Public Engagement Stephanie Valencia as they share their experiences working to achieve a historic agenda. Gautam Raghavan, former Associate Directory of Public Engagement and editor of the book West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House, leads the discussion.

Arrive at 6 pm to enjoy pre-program refreshments, provided by NYU's Office of Community Engagement.


March

Book Talk: Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate StateBook Talk: Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State
Mon, Mar 4, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Author and Hunter College Urban Studies teacher Samuel Stein untangles the $217 trillion global real estate industry, pointing to the practitioners of city planning as the unseen interlocutors between finance, government, and housing. In a conversation with The Nation contributing editor Liza Featherstone and economic analyst Doug Henwood, Stein makes the case for city dwellers adopting tactics of urban planners to reclaim the right to their city.


The Feature is Female: Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed, Introduced by City Council Majority Leader Laurie CumboThe Feature is Female: Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed, Introduced by City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo
Thu, Mar 7, 6:30 pm
Free
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In the first of four documentaries about inspiring women presented in honor of Women’s History Month, follow Shirley Chisholm’s pioneering 1972 presidential bid. Introduced with an appreciation by City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo.


The Feature is Female: RBG, Introduced by former New York State Attorney General Barbara UnderwoodThe Feature is Female: RBG, Introduced by former New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood
Tue, Mar 12, 6:30 pm
Free
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In the second of four documentaries about inspiring women, celebrate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal voyage as she rises to the nation’s highest court and becomes an unexpected pop culture icon. Introduced with an appreciation by former New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood.


Talking Menstrual Equity. PeriodTalking Menstrual Equity. Period
Mon, Mar 18, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Safe, affordable, accessible menstrual products, is that so much to ask for? In her book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf tackles a taboo subject head-on: the tampon tax and other menstrual inequalities. Join her, along with Feministing editorial director Maya Dusenberry, award-winning journalist Kimberly Seals Allers, and Sophie Houser who co-created the video game Tampon Run at the age of 17, for the kind of discussion that would have made your great-grandmother blush.

The Feature is Female: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Introduced by Comedian Ophira EisenbergThe Feature is Female: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Introduced by Comedian Ophira Eisenberg
Tue, Mar 19, 6:30 pm
Free
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In the third of four documentaries about inspiring women, travel alongside comedian Joan Rivers for a candid look at the struggles, sacrifices, and joys of this groundbreaking female performer. Writer, comedian, and host of NPR’s Ask Me Another, Ophira Eisenberg provides an introductory appreciation.


Digital Archiving 101: Your Personal WorkshopDigital Archiving 101: Your Personal Workshop
Wed, Mar 20, 6:30 pm
$15 / $5 for Members
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Interested in scanning your photos? Want to learn how to preserve and back up your digital memories? Join archivist Maggie Schreiner for a personal digital archiving workshop. Participants will learn the basics of digitizing and caring for their collections of documents, photos, and audiovisual materials. Come learn about file formats and storage, straightforward tools and techniques, and common risks and dangers (and how to avoid them!).


The Feature is Female: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Introduced by Municipal Art Society President Elizabeth GoldsteinThe Feature is Female: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Introduced by Municipal Art Society President Elizabeth Goldstein
Tue, Mar 26, 6:30 pm
Free

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In the final documentary about inspiring women, retrace urban activist Jane Jacobs’s fight to save historic NYC during the redevelopment era of Robert Moses. Opening remarks by President of the Municipal Art Society’s Elizabeth Goldstein.



April

The Queer Creative Impulse: Artistic Expression and Gender IdentityThe Queer Creative Impulse: Artistic Expression and Gender Identity
Mon, Apr 1, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members

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Join us for a discussion on the intersection of LGBTQ identity and creativity. Hugh Ryan, curator of the exhibition On the (Queer) Waterfront, and author of the new book When Brooklyn Was Queer, is joined by historian and CUNY professor, Daniel Hurewitz, author of Bohemian Los Angeles whose work focuses on the development of gendered and sexual identities, and Sherill Tippins, author of the book February House about the salon/house described by the queer platform, them, as “the Queer Commune in WWII Brooklyn that became a cultural epicenter.” Moderated by the senior managing producer of the Slate Podcast Network, June Thomas, founder of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. How artists helped to inspire queer activism is just one of the many topics that will be explored.

Presented in conjunction with the new exhibition On The (Queer) Waterfront.


Taylor Branch on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Chris Matthews discusses Robert F. KennedyBank of America Presents History Makers
Taylor Branch on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wed, Apr 3, 6:30 pm
$15 / $5 for Members
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For thirty years, in three extraordinary volumes, a film, and an anthology, Taylor Branch has presented an unparalleled epic story of the Civil Rights Movement and our democratic experiment. Join him for this special and intimate evening as discusses his life’s work and the legacy of MLK.


Artists Resisting GentrificationArtists Resisting Gentrification
Mon, Apr 8, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Artists are often deemed harbingers of gentrification or pawns in neighborhood rebranding. Yet they can also take charge of their communities’ future by bringing attention to economic pressures and pushing for protections for long-term residents. Join us for a conversation on artists taking action with Arts East NY Founder and Executive Director Catherine Green, author of How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood Peter Moskowitz, and artist William Powhida.


Heating up History: An Exploration of Spice, Hot Sauce, and Immigrant FoodsHeating up History: An Exploration of Spice, Hot Sauce, and Immigrant Foods
Thu, Apr 11, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Join BHS as we tackle some burning questions about spicy food! How did spiciness find its way into America’s food lexicon? How are hot sauce makers looking to turn up the heat on adventurous eaters? Why do we do this to ourselves? Historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman, hot sauce creator Erica Diehl of Brooklyn’s own Queen Majesty Hot Sauce, and “Smokin’” Ed Currie, owner of Puckerbutt Farms and cultivator of the world’s hottest peppers, discuss in a conversation moderated by Steve Seabury of High River Sauces and the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.


George Chauncey on Gay Male Culture in Post-War NYCGeorge Chauncey on Gay Male Culture in Post-War NYC
Mon, Apr 15, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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George Chauncey’s trailblazing book Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940, shattered the myth that before the 1960s gay life existed only in the closet. In this presentation Chauncey, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, picks up where he left off, examining NYC’s post-war gay culture and politics.

Presented in conjunction with the new exhibition On The (Queer) Waterfront.


Chroniclers of the Climate ApolocalypseChroniclers of the Climate Apocalypse
Mon, Apr 22, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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The journalists who report on climate change, have stories of their own. Tasked with remaining objective as they make a daunting, politicized topic tangible, they embed in smoldering landscapes and inundated shores. Hear front-line stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning NYT correspondent Sheri FinkThe Guardian environmental reporter Oliver Milman, and author of The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption Dahr Jamail. Moderated by National Geographic Society Strategic Adviser for Environmental and Science Journalism Andrew Revkin.

Presented in connection with the exhibition Waterfront at BHS DUMBO.







Brooklyn Historical Society public programs are made possible by the New York State Council of the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and, in part, by public funds from the New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

NYSCA      NYC DCA

The History Makers series is proudly presented by Bank of America

Bank of America






Brooklyn Heights Tours

Big Onion Brooklyn Heights TourHistoric Brooklyn Heights Walking Tour

Explore New York City’s first Landmark District on a special tour co-sponsored by Big Onion and BHS! End your excursion at BHS, where you'll receive free admission and a behind-the-scenes look at our magnificent 1881 building. Check out the schedule of upcoming tours HERE and start planning your next Brooklyn adventure!Big Onion






PUBLIC PROGRAM REFUND POLICY

Brooklyn Historical Society requires 24 hours notice before the date of the event to refund a ticket. No refunds are provided after that point. This means no refunds are provided on the day of the event and all subsequent days.