BROOKLYN — Learn about Bedford-Stuyvesant’s history of grassroots activism at a talk discussing the "Battle for Bed-Stuy.”
Teacher and historian Michael Woodsworth explores the policies that helped shape the central Brooklyn neighborhood in his new book, “Battle for Bed-Stuy: The Long War on Poverty in New York City,” which he’ll delve into at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Jan. 17.
“I’d like people to be aware of the legacies of the community, aware of what has happened there,” Woodsworth said.
“I’d like to be part of a conversation about what role government can play with communities.
“How can government resources — or the loss of government resources in some cases — be dealt with by local actors? I think that’s really important today in New York City in discussing gentrification.”
Woodsworth’s work takes a look at anti-poverty initiatives in the 1960s and the campaign from locals to boost the community as a response to crime and capital flight.
The author’s talk will feature an illustrated lecture, touch on the legacy of activists like Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and discuss what drew Sen. Robert F. Kennedy to partner with residents to help create Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the local community development organization.
“This is a book that is very much about citizen participation and political activism,” said Marcia Ely, vice president for programs and external affairs at BHS.
“He really gets into the sort of nitty gritty of what people were doing in the community. It’s just a great lesson for everyone to step back and say, look at what regular folks made happen.”
Woodsworth’s talk on the "Battle for Bed-Stuy" takes place on Jan. 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Historical Society, at 128 Pierrepont St. Tickets are $10.