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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
May 12, 2014
Call number: 2015.011.14
Oral History Interview with Gloria Malek
Gloria (Feingold) Malek was born on September 25, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish parents. She lived in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn where she attended school (PS 90, JHS 109, and Thomas Jefferson High School) and raised her family. Starting in 1957 she resided in the Linden Houses, where she lived for seventeen years. After briefly moving to California, she returned to East New York and lived in Starrett City for fourteen years. She was active in political and community organizations, including the Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women's Clubs, the Women's Strike for Peace, East New York Action, and especially the United Community Centers (of which she serves on the Board of Directors). Malek was married and had two children. Following the end of her first marriage she was in a long-term interracial relationship. She remained in East New York until the 1990s, when she moved to the Stuyvesant Town residential development in Manhattan.
In the interview, Gloria Malek describes growing up in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn in the 1930s through 1950s when it was primarily a Jewish community, living in the Linden Houses and its later decline, White flight, her involvement with political activism and the March on Washington, becoming deeply involved with the United Community Centers and integration, race relations at local schools and bullying, crime and being mugged, and her interracial relationship with a Black man. Throughout the interview she speaks about the challenges she and her family faced living in East New York, but also emphasizes her strong desire to live and socialize in racially mixed communities. The interview was conducted by Sarita Daftary-Steel at Malek's home in the Stuyvesant Town residential development in Manhattan, New York, 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.
CitationMalek, Gloria, Oral history interview conducted by Sarita Daftary-Steel, May 12, 2014, Sarita Daftary-Steel collection of East New York oral histories, 2015.011.14; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Espada, Frank, 1930-
- Linden Houses (Housing complex)
- Malek, Gloria
- Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
- United Community Centers
- Community activists
- Community organizing
- Public housing
- Public schools
- Race relations
- Urban policy
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- East New York (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidSarita Daftary-Steel collection of East New York oral histories