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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[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 Marcelo Herman
March 16, 1989
Call number: 1989.004.22
0:05 - Introducciones, población de Puebla en Brooklyn, migración de la familia a NY - Introductions, Puebla population in Brooklyn, family's migration to NY
3:33 - Cambios en el área de Park Slope, razones para mudarse de Manhattan a Brooklyn - Changes around Park Slope area, reasons for moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn
16:11 - Vida en Piaxtla, trabajo en negocio familiar, proceso de inmigración - Life in Piaxtla, work in family business, immigration process
24:54 - Primeras impresiones de Brooklyn, disponibilidad de productos mexicanos en los ochenta - First impressions of Brooklyn, availability of Mexican groceries in1980s
28:38 - Ayuda a familia en México y a nuevos inmigrantes, encontrar empleo sin residencia - Aid to family in Mexico and recent immigrants, finding a job without residency
30:12 - Hábitos alimenticios, dejar los estudios para trabajar en el negocio familiar - Eating habits, taking time off from college to support family business
Oral History Interview with Miguel Rojas
Miguel Rojas was born in Piaxtla, Puebla, Mexico, and came to Brooklyn in 1980. His father came to New York in the late sixties, and founded the first Mexican bakery in the borough, located in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. His family were among the first Mexicans to come to that neighborhood. The Rojas bakery makes several kinds of Mexican breads.
In the interview, Miguel Rojas recalls the major biographical details of his life. He looks back on the family immigrating to New York City and relocating from Manhattan to Brooklyn. He identifies quality of life issues as they apply to the Latino/a community; schools, small business, food, and job opportunities. Rojas details the business model of his bakery; they sell not only to repartidores-people who sell Mexican food door to door-but also to bodegas in Mexican neighborhoods. He describes the distribution of the Mexican community in Brooklyn. He discusses how the work is shared by his family members in the bakery, and how difficult it is to study at Pace University while managing a growing business. Interview in Spanish conducted by Marcelo Herman.
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.
CitationRojas, Miguel, Oral history interview conducted by Marcelo Herman, March 16, 1989, Hispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories, 1989.004.22; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Rojas, Miguel
- Bakery employees
- Business enterprises
- Dominican Americans
- Emigration and immigration
- Ethnic identity| Hispanic Americans
- International cooking
- Mexican Americans
- Puerto Ricans
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- New York (N.Y.)
Finding AidHispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories