Where Are They Now: From Bed-Stuy to Williamsburg

Brooklyn Deep: Who is a part of your household? Jessica Ababon: I live with my husband Joshua and our dog, Butters. BKD: Where did you live in Central Brooklyn? JA: 1865 Fulton Street, so that’s like Ralph Avenue and Fulton Street. I grew up there until college. I moved to Bushwick after that. BKD: Did you […]

Brooklyn Community Gardeners React to De Blasio Admin. Deal

Abdul Muhammad has seen developers looking at the New Harvest community garden next to his Bedford-Stuyvesant home for a long time, yet nothing ever happened. He kept on cleaning the lot and planting crops as the neighborhood changed around him. Residents that couldn’t afford fresh produce could get it at the garden. All were welcome. […]

School Colors Eps 7: New Kids On The Block

Gentrification is reshaping cities all over the country: more affluent people, often but not always white, are moving into historically Black and brown neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant. But even as the population of Bed-Stuy has been growing in numbers and wealth, the schools of District 16 have been starved for students and resources. That’s because a […]

Third Rail Eps 57: Inside School Colors

Guest Host: Anthonine Pierre Studio Guests: Max Freedman and Mark Winston Griffith On this special edition of Third Rail, Anthonine Pierre steps into the host chair and interviews Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman, the co-hosts and co-producers of the documentary podcast, School Colors. Representing Brooklyn Deep’s most ambitious project today, School Colors is a […]

School Colors Ep. 6: Mo’ Charters Mo’ Problems

If you ask most people in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 why they think enrollment is falling, chances are they’ll point to charter schools: privately managed public schools, which have been on the rise in New York City for more than a decade. Charter schools were originally dreamed up to be laboratories for innovation in public education. […]

School Colors Ep. 5: The Disappearing District

Since 2002, the number of students in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 has dropped by more than half. There’s no single reason why this is happening, but the year 2002 is a clue: that’s when Michael Bloomberg became the Mayor, abolished local school boards, and took over the New York City school system. In this episode, we’ll […]

School Colors Ep. 4: “Agitate! Educate! Organize!”

In the wake of the 1968 teachers’ strikes, Black people in Central Brooklyn continued to fight for self-determination in education — both inside and outside of the public school system. Some veterans of the community control movement started an independent school called Uhuru Sasa Shule, or “Freedom Now School,” part of a pan-African cultural center […]

School Colors Ep. 3: Third Strike

In the fall of 1968, New York City teachers went on strike three times, in reaction to an experiment in community control of schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn. The third strike was the longest, and the ugliest. The movement for community control tapped into a powerful desire among Black and brown people across New York […]

School Colors Ep. 2: Power to the People

In the late 1960s, the Central Brooklyn neighborhood of Ocean Hill-Brownsville was at the center of a bold experiment in community control of public schools. But as Black and Puerto Rican parents in Ocean Hill-Brownsville tried to exercise power over their schools, they collided headfirst with the teachers’ union — leading to the longest teachers’ […]

School Colors Ep. 1: Old School

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is one of the most iconic historically Black neighborhoods in the United States. But Bed-Stuy is changing. Fifty years ago, schools in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 were so overcrowded that students went to school in shifts. Today, they’re half-empty. Why? In trying to answer that question, we discovered that the biggest, oldest questions we […]