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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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Oral history interview conducted by Peggy Alston
January 28, 2008
Call number: 2008.030.02
Oral History Interview with Che Baraka
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1953, Che Baraka left his boyhood home in Jackson, Mississippi for New York City at age eighteen. After studying at the School of Visual Arts, Baraka became an art workshop instructor at Restoration's Youth Arts Academy in Brooklyn. Baraka's decades-long association with Restoration incorporates his roles as art instructor, curator, activist, and exhibiting artist. At the time of the 2008 interview, Baraka was a well-known mixed-media artist whose paintings had been exhibited nationally.
In this interview, the artist Che Baraka recounts his childhood precocity in Jackson, Mississippi, where he became involved with the U.S. Civil Rights Movement that would later inform his work as an artist. Baraka recalls his escape from a culturally barren Jackson, Mississippi to join the arts scene of New York City, where he became situated within the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Baraka discusses his involvement with Restoration, where he worked as an arts teacher, administrator, curator, and exhibiting artist. Baraka explains his curatorial philosophy and the difficulties of financing public arts programs. He states his views on Bedford-Stuyvesant's culture circa 2008, his current arts projects; and his thoughts on Restoration's social role and legacy. Interview conducted by Peggy Alston.
Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) partnered on the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral history project in 2007-2008 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Restoration's founding as the first community development corporation (CDC) in the United States. Nearly sixty interviews were conducted with founding Board members, supporters, activists, artists, tenants, and other community members. Audio clips from these oral history interviews were included in the exhibit "Reflections on Community Development: Stories from Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation" (BHS 2008, Restoration 2009).
CitationBaraka, Che, Oral history interview conducted by Peggy Alston, January 28, 2008, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories, 2008.030.02; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Baraka, Che
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. Center for Art and Culture
- Design Works of Bedford-Stuyvesant (Firm)
- Gunn, Theodore
- Inniss, Charles E.
- School of Visual Arts (New York, N.Y.)
- African Americans
- Civil rights movements
- Education, Higher
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidBedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories