A project of Brooklyn Historical Society

CBBG featured in NY Times

Posted on

January 5, 2015


On December 2, 2014, The New York Times featured a story about CBBG, written by Felicia R. Lee:

“'I think it’s unique in its breadth,' said Deborah Schwartz, president of the historical society. 'Oral histories are usually very specific, and this is very wide-ranging, with mixed heritage meaning different things to different people. It is also infused with the reflections of scholars: historians, anthropologists, sociologists...'

About 30 of the oral histories are now gathered on the website, which includes photographs, audio clips, transcripts and scholarly articles. The full oral history collection will be available next year at the historical society’s Othmer Library, the repository of more than 1,200 oral history narratives on a variety of topics. In February, educators will also be offered a curriculum for grades six through 12.

All the oral history subjects were volunteers who live or work in Brooklyn, or did so in the past. They were a diverse flock, including biracial lesbian couples and Jewish couples from different European countries. Their stories reflect changes from the time when mixed marriage often meant spouses of different religions to a time when it means gay or interracial marriage, or both, said Sady Sullivan, the former director of oral history at the historical society. Ms. Sullivan, who conceived the project, has been named the curator of oral history at Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

'The idea I get really excited about is that this is for the future,' Ms. Sullivan said. 'What will it be like to listen to stories about the social construction of race in 150 years?'"

Read the full article here.