Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Historical Society honored by American Association for State and Local History

Local Institution Recognized as National Leader in Historic Interpretation

July 6, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Historical Society is located in Brooklyn Heights. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) has been recognized with a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for its project “Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations” (CBBG). BHS President Deborah Schwartz will accept the award on behalf of the institution in a ceremony to be held in Detroit on Sept. 16.

AASLH is a national association that provides leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all Americans. 

CBBG is an oral history and public program initiative that creates space for dialogues about race, ethnicity and intersecting identities. The project, which took place from 2011 to 2015 and continues online, examines the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families, cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity and identity in the diverse borough of Brooklyn.

By capturing the voices of more than 100 Brooklynites who self-identify as of mixed-heritage; bringing together interdisciplinary scholars who contributed essays and lesson plans about race, culture, identity and U.S. history; creating a series of public programs examining various aspects of mixed-identity; and making the substance of the project available to the general public through a website, and to students through a curriculum, CBBG has facilitated intimate conversations about the impacts of racism, classism, sexism, immigration and diaspora, faith, policies and laws in the lives of Brooklynites. 

“We are honored to receive a Leadership in History Award from the AASLH,” said Schwartz. “Discussions on race and ethnicity are particularly timely and relevant given the country’s cultural and political climate and the subject matter is just as complex as it was in centuries past.

“This project captures voices from today, and makes them available to the public and scholars for centuries to come,” Schwartz continued. “Our goal is to inspire spirited discourse in a productive way. We are very proud of the work that has gone into this historically significant project and we have established a dynamic model for how issues of mixed-heritage and identity are discussed in a public forum.”


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