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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 Sady Sullivan
January 30, 2008
Call number: 2008.030.26
Oral History Interview with Stuart Lewis
Dr. Stuart Lewis was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1961, when he was a young boy. In 1974 he graduated from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lewis practiced surgery in Brooklyn before becoming the Medical Director for the New York City Transit Authority, where he served for thirteen years. At the time of the interview, Dr. Lewis held a private practice. Prior to starting medical school, Dr. Lewis helped found Youth in Action, a youth anti-poverty organization. From 1966 to 1969 he was the Director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps, a component of Youth in Action. A longstanding community organizer and philanthropist, he served as the Chairman of the Board of Restoration from 1997 to 2000.
In this interview, Dr. Stuart Lewis describes his personal activist mission, his interest in capital formation and the eradication of poverty, the economic state of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and greater Brooklyn, and his time with Youth in Action in the 1960s. He discusses the initial division in duties between Restoration and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Development and Services Corporation, and reviews why his last act as Chairman merged the two divisions. He tells the history of Weeksville and its discovery. Lewis recounts the African American contributions to a diverse community and states the role of arts and culture in society. Interview conducted by Sady Sullivan.
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).
CitationLewis, Stuart, Oral history interview conducted by Sady Sullivan, January 30, 2008, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories, 2008.030.26; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Development and Services Corporation
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth in Action
- Inniss, Charles E.
- Lewis, Stuart, Dr.
- Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History
- African Americans
- Business enterprises
- Community centers
- Community development corporations
- Community development, Urban
- Economic development
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidBedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories