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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 Bahati Williams
February 01, 2008
Call number: 2008.030.36
Oral History Interview with Annette Robinson
Assemblywoman Annette Robinson was born in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from New Hampshire College. A member of the Democratic Party, much of Robinson's adult life was spent in public service. In 1977, she was elected to the Community School Board of District 16, where she served three terms. She served six years in the administration of former New York City comptroller Harrison J. Goldin, and afterward became the District Director for U.S. Congressman Major R. Owens. Robinson was elected to the New York City Council in 1991 as a representative of the 36th district; and in 2002 assumed office in the New York State Assembly. There she represented District 56, which includes most of Bedford-Stuyvesant, along with the Crown Heights and Bushwick neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Robinson had six children and was married for over fifty years to William Robinson (deceased).
In this interview, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson speaks of her long ties to Restoration, and the impact it's had on the local community. She reminisces about the idyllic Bedford-Stuyvesant of her youth, during a time when the community was protective of its children, and neighbors closely watched community goings-on. Robinson describes the necessity of programs that increase children's sense of self-worth and personal expectations, particularly those in the arts and education, and workforce development and jobs training for teenagers. Robinson maintains close ties with a number of international municipalities; for instance in Brazil, Panama, and South Africa. She describes the importance of cooperative learning programs in uncovering novel solutions to shared problems. At the interview's end, Robinson reflects on her motivations as a politician, and reveals that her original life dream was to be a professional dancer. Interview conducted by Bahati Williams.
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).
CitationRobinson, Annette, Oral history interview conducted by Bahati Williams, February 01, 2008, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories, 2008.030.36; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Development and Services Corporation
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
- Robinson, Annette (Annette M.)
- Vann, Albert, 1934-
- Community development corporations
- Community development, Urban
- Community organizing
- Economic development
- Enterprise zones
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- New York (State)
- South Africa
Finding AidBedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories