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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Lester Young, Jr.
Oral history interview conducted by Sady Sullivan
January 31, 2008
Call number: 2008.030.56
Oral History Interview with Lester Young, Jr.
Dr. Lester Young, Jr., EdD, was a career educator born and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. His professional experience includes time served as a teacher, guidance counselor, supervisor of special education, elementary school principal, and the Associate Commissioner with the New York State Education Department. At the time of the 2008 interview, Dr. Young was a visiting professor at Long Island University's Graduate School of Education and a contributor to Restoration.
In this interview, Dr. Lester Young, Jr. discusses his current connection and involvement with Restoration and its role in the African-American civil rights movement. Young talks about housing affordability, gentrification, and his concerns for the future of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. He looks at the role of arts education in young peoples' lives. Young recalls his own public school education and his training as a young educator in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Young also speaks about school violence and solutions. He focuses on Restoration's roles in shutting down the "prison pipeline" for young Black men and enabling "total" human development; spanning jobs, arts, housing, education, and emotional maturity. He remembers the role his father, the famous jazz musician Lester Young, had on his life. 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).
CitationYoung, Lester, Jr., Oral history interview conducted by Sady Sullivan, January 31, 2008, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories, 2008.030.56; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
- Billie Holiday Theatre
- Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History
- Young, Lester, 1909-1959
- Young, Lester, Jr., Dr.
- African Americans
- Civil rights movements
- Community centers
- Community organizing
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- United States
Finding AidBedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories