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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
April 10, 2008
Call number: 2008.030.48
Oral History Interview with Albert Vann
Albert Vann was born in 1934 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. At age eighteen, Vann joined the United States Marine Corps, eventually rising to the rank of sergeant. After leaving the military, Vann earned bachelor's and Toledo master's degrees in the field of education. Originally an educator, Vann's career has included service as both teacher and administrator in Brooklyn public schools, and founding of the African American Teachers Association. At the time of the 2008 interview, Vann was a member of the New York City Council, representing the 36th Council District (which includes parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant), and was a thirty-year Assemblyman of the New York City Council. A Democrat, Vann catalyzed two major court cases which helped to expand minority representation in New York government. He was also one of the founders of the City University of New York's Medgar Evers College.
In this first of two interviews, Albert Vann details his early career as an educator, his start as a school teacher, and rise into administration. He describes his involvement in the "civil rights movement of education," founding the Negro Teacher's Association (now the African American Teacher's Association), organizing Black teachers, and involving parents. He discusses his personal political history, his relationship to Restoration as an elected official and community member, and funding sources and problems with funding. 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).
CitationVann, Albert, Oral history interview conducted by Sady Sullivan, April 10, 2008, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories, 2008.030.48; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
- New York (N.Y.). City Council
- New York (State). Legislature
- Thomas, Franklin A.
- Vann, Albert, 1934-
- African Americans
- Black nationalism
- Civil rights movements
- Community development corporations
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- New York (N.Y.)
- New York (State)
- United States
Finding AidBedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories