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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 Sarita Daftary-Steel
July 21, 2014
Call number: 2015.011.04
Oral History Interview with Lydia Daniel
Lydia Daniel was born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1954. She moved to the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in the late 1950s and later relocated to the Bronx. Her mother moved from the Bronx to the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn in the early 1960s, and Daniel followed in the early 1970s. She attended PS 184, James Fenimore Cooper Junior High School, Julia Richman High School, and the Wilfred Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture. She owned and operated a beauty salon in East New York for many years, and her son owns a barber shop (Cas Cuts) in neighborhood. As of 2015, Daniel lives with her daughter in upstate New York.
In the interview, Lydia Daniel discusses moving to the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, owning her own business and the difficulties she faced securing loans, White flight and the decline of services in the area, integration, gentrification and affordable housing, moving from the US Virgin Islands to New York, and positive aspects of East New York. She also compares her experiences living in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, the Bronx, and East New York. The interview was conducted by Sarita Daftary-Steel at Cas Cuts, which is a barbershop owned by her son in East New York.
The collection consists of twenty oral history interviews (with nineteen narrators) conducted by Sarita Daftary-Steel with residents (past and present) of the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. The interviews were conducted between January 2014 and February 2015. The project was designed to capture the experiences of East New York residents who lived in the neighborhood during the period when families of color (African American, West Indian, and Puerto Rican) moved in and White families moved out, and the resulting decline of services and quality of life that followed. This process began as early as the 1950s and continued through the rest of the twentieth century. Sarita Daftary-Steel is a community organizer who worked for United Community Centers from 2003 to 2013, most of those years as the East New York Farms! Project Director.
CitationDaniel, Lydia, Oral history interview conducted by Sarita Daftary-Steel, July 21, 2014, Sarita Daftary-Steel collection of East New York oral histories, 2015.011.04; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Daniel, Lydia
- African Americans
- Business enterprises
- Community development
- Discrimination in banking
- Low-income housing
- Race relations
- Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- East New York (New York, N.Y.)
- Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
- United States Virgin Islands
Finding AidSarita Daftary-Steel collection of East New York oral histories