4 boxes : 42 cassette tapes; 4 compact disks, 4 floppy disks.
Interviews alphabetical by interviewee name. Audio versions are on numbered cassettes, and printed transcripts, correspondence, and notes for each are in folders. Not all of the interviews are transcribed, and, conversely, some interviews are email-based, with no accompanying audio. Event photographs are organized by format.
The Civil Rights in Brooklyn Oral History Collection serves as a companion to the Civil Rights in Brooklyn Collection. In the course of his research for his dissertation at New York University, Dr. Brian Purnell interviewed several activists who were members of the Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). This collection also includes earlier interviews by other researchers that were obtained by Purnell for his study. During the early 1960s, the Brooklyn Chapter of CORE was one of the most dynamic civil rights organizations in New York City. From 1960-64, members of Brooklyn CORE led local demonstrations to desegregate apartments, integrate public schools, create jobs, and improve sanitation services to Bedford-Stuyvesant. CORE members were also active in other civil rights organizations, including Freedom Organizations Coordinated for Unity in Shorefront (FOCUS), which protested housing discrimination in the Sheepshead Bay-Shorefront area, and Black News, a newsletter focusing on local and international issues in civil rights. Sonny Carson, who was an executive director of Brooklyn CORE and is interviewed by Purnell, published an autobiography in 1972, The Education of Sonny Carson, which was made into a film in 1974.
The collection consists of 34 interviews of 32 former CORE members, recorded between 1987 and 2005. Most, but not all, of these interviews are in both their original cassette format and in a transcribed copy. Notes, ephemera, and newspaper clippings accompany the transcriptions. Two compact discs and six floppy disks contain photographs of events at which Purnell presented his research, with many of his interviewees, in 2006.
All requests subject to limitations noted in divisional policies on reproduction.
Brian Purnell Civil Rights in Brooklyn Oral History Collection, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection.
Collection is open to the public, may only be used in the library and is not available through interlibrary loan. Library policy on photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Finding aid available online
Gift; Brian Purnell; 2009.
Consult finding aid for related materials.
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