The East New York Oral History Project was designed to capture the personal experiences of people who lived in East New York from 1960 - 1970, during the time in which East New York rapidly changed from a primarily white community to a community of color.
"Not only were the people moving in getting battered, but people moving out got battered as well. And real estate people were the ones really making the money...It's just sad because it divides people, and it did, it was a real division."
East New York resident since the early 1960s
"Realtors would buy up a block and when they moved one or two black families onto the block then suddenly, although it wasn’t the way it should be, other people in the area were concerned that the value of their homes would go down, and so they would think more about moving. And the realtors did that as a profit motive, which was very sad, because the community was still wonderful, there were wonderful people there, and it wasn’t changing, but they forced it. It was just a manipulation."
East New York resident from 1946-1970
"I think it could have been a great place for a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds. It could have been marvelous place, because it was a neighborhood."
East New York resident from 1957-1972
"The phone calls, my parents remember the phone calls coming all the time, and postcards – ‘Don’t be the last person on the block, you’re gonna lose everything.'"
East New York resident from 1945-1967
"My parents worked so hard to have this house for us…and everybody just - my beautiful neighbors, they all moved."
East New York resident since 1959
"But people are running back now. If we were included, it would be ok, but nobody’s really concerned about including us. They’re not really. They’ll live among us, and they’ll tolerate us, but eventually we’ll be priced out. We can’t afford to be their neighbors. Because there’s an inequity. But on the whole, it's unfair, it really is unfair."
East New York resident since 1960