Back to Conference Participants Abstract: The Transformation of Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews and Liberalism in 1950s New York.  





This paper examines the period of racial transition in Brownsville, focusing primarily on the 1950s and describing the response of the community to the migration of blacks and Latinos into the neighborhood. This paper will discuss the efforts of several Brownsville organizations to create a viable, diverse community and describe the obstacles they faced, internal and external. The story of Brownsville is interesting in that it differs from many communities, in New York city and elsewhere, where black migration was accompanied by white violence and flight. In Brownsville, many whites, blacks and Latinos worked throughout the 1950s to create an integrated community. They failed, and their story says much about the difficulties facing urban America in the 1950s, as well as the complexities of race relations in America.