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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 Robert Sember
June 23, 1992
Call number: 1993.001.07
0:01 - Work of Caribbean Women's Health Association, Brooklyn
14:06 - Career before involvement with HIV/AIDS and how she became involved
22:12 - Reputation of Caribbean people in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Crown Heights
25:11 - Personal experiences with health, loved ones, community and HIV
45:42 - Combating stigma around Caribbean people, HIV in Brooklyn, and Women and HIV
51:02 - Concept of self, community and what is needed in Brooklyn
63:53 - Positive outcomes and hopes around HIV
Oral History Interview with Marilyn John
Marilyn John, a Trinidadian woman, was thirty-four years old at the time of the interview in 1992. A graduate of Long Island University, she was once program coordinator for one of the AIDS programs at the Caribbean Women's Health Association (CWHA) in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. She also had a private AIDS consulting business and represented Caribbean AIDS concerns at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. John developed insight into the impact AIDS had on the Brooklyn Caribbean communities as well as the experience of AIDS service providers. In the years following this interview, John became executive director of the CWHA and a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene employee. In 2010, John pled guilty in federal court to embezzlement and fraud charges. In 2016, she was the National Ambassadors Coordinator for the faith-based White House Prayer for Our Nation initiative.
In the interview, Marilyn John speaks extensively on the changes she has witnessed within the Caribbean communities, particularly with regards to sexuality, because of the AIDS crisis. John brings to the conversation her experience from within the Caribbean community, as well as a background and interest in community health. Throughout the course of the interview, John talks about the need for a holistic approach to health (Holistic Methods of Intervention), specifically with a focus on culture and immigration. She also speaks specifically on the need for Caribbean specific cultural training related to HIV. Since her primary interest and expertise is in education, she concentrates on the different approaches she takes to the different needs and characteristics of many of the communities she works with. Finally, she outlines what should be done for Brooklyn's Caribbean communities. Interview conducted by Robert Sember.
The AIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection includes oral histories conducted for an exhibition undertaken by the Brooklyn Historical Society in 1993. The project attempted to document the impact of the AIDS epidemic on Brooklyn communities. Recordings initially made on magnetic tape concerned the epidemic and were with narrators who had firsthand experience with the crisis in their communities, families and personal life. Narrators came from diverse backgrounds within Brookyn and the New York metropolitan area and had unique experiences which connected them with HIV/AIDS. Substantive topics of hemophilia, sexual behavior, substance abuse, medical practice, social work, homelessness, activism, childhood, relationships and parenting run through at least one, and often several, of the oral histories in the collection.
CitationJohn, Marilyn, Oral history interview conducted by Robert Sember, June 23, 1992, AIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection, 1993.001.07; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Caribbean Women's Health Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
- John, Marilyn
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- AIDS activists
- American Dream
- Caribbean Americans
- Community activists
- Emigration & immigration
- HIV-positive persons
- Sexual health
- Stigma (Social psychology)
- Women's health services
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Bushwick (New York, N.Y.)
- Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidAIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection