Oral histories are intimate conversations between and among people who have generously agreed to share these recordings with BHS’s archives and researchers. Please listen in the spirit with which these were shared. BHS abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.
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The audio recording should be considered the primary source for each interview. Where provided, transcripts created prior to 2008 or commissioned by a third party other than BHS, serve as a guide to the interview and are not considered verbatim. More recent transcripts commissioned by BHS are nearly verbatim copies of the recorded interview, and as such may contain the natural false starts, verbal stumbles, misspeaks, and repetitions that are common in conversation. The decision for their inclusion was made because BHS gives primacy to the audible voice and also because some researchers do find useful information in these verbal patterns. Unless these verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator’s speech while editing the material for the standards of print.
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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 Lucia Rodriguez
February 28, 1989
Call number: 1989.004.15
0:04 - Introducciones, inicios de la inmigración Cubana en y alrededor de Bay Ridge - Introductions, beginnings of the Cuban immigration in and around Bay Ridge
9:11 - Importancia de los valores, orgullo y unión de hispanos - Importance of Hispanic values, pride and unity
13:52 - Club de Leones Latinoamericanos - Caribbean Lion Club, rise in Latin American professionals and businesses in Brooklyn
21:25 - Aumento de la comunidad hispánica de Bay Ridge, cambio en el tipo de empleo y salarios - Increase in Hispanic community in Bay Ridge, changes in type of employment and salaries
25:14 - Problemas con los programas bilingües, importancia de la sensibilidad hacia las experiencias de los estudiantes - Issues with bilingual programs, importance of sensitivity towards students' backgrounds
33:11 - Participación de su abuelo en batallas de emancipación, valor de la participación política - Grandfather's involvement in emancipation battles, value of political involvement
38:33 - Experiencias de su abuelo en Brooklyn a mediados del siglo XVIII y carrera en La Habana - Grandfather's experiences in Brooklyn during the 1800s and career in Havana
41:29 - Relaciones con cubanos y otras comunidades latinoamericanas en Brooklyn - Relationship with Cubans and other Latin American communities in Brooklyn
Oral History Interview with Olga Gomez
Olga Gomez, married and the mother of two children, is originally from Cuba. A longtime resident of the borough when the interview occurred in 1989, Gomez lived first in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and then in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Olga Gomez begins the interview by giving details on Hispanics in Brooklyn's history who can be classified as "pre-pioneers.'' She mentions a couple of Cubans who came in the early 1900s to Brooklyn to live, work, and study. She also talks about her political involvement in the Latino/a community. She elaborates on why she is a Republican and also shares her feelings about being a woman in politics. She gives her viewpoints on the topic of the Hispanic identity. In doing so she talks about Spanish heritage. She analyzes the educational opportunities of the Latino/a in the United States. Gomez looks at programs like bilingualism and special education in relation to the Latino/a student. She also comments on Latino/a organizations in Brooklyn, in addition to activities like parades that they sponsor. According to her, the Latino/a people in Brooklyn are moving forward; socially, economically, as well as politically. Interview in Spanish conducted by Lucia Rodriguez.
Brooklyn Historical Society initiated the Hispanic Communities Documentation Project in 1988. Over fifty interviews were conducted to document the experiences of Brooklyn residents who arrived from Puerto Rico, Panama, Ecuador, and several other Central and South American nations in the latter half of the twentieth century. This collection includes recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted between 1988 and 1989. The oral histories often contain descriptions of immigration, living arrangements, neighborhood demographics, discrimination, employment, community development, and political leadership. Also included are photographs and printed ephemera.
CitationGomez, Olga, Oral history interview conducted by Lucia Rodriguez, February 28, 1989, Hispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories, 1989.004.15; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Gomez, Olga
- Marti, Jose
- Community identity
- Cuban Americans
- Cubans| Emigration and immigration
- English as a second language
- Ethnic identityHispanic Americans
- Puerto Ricans
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Park Slope (New York, N.Y.)
- Sunset Park (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidHispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories