Listen: Oral History Collection

We are creating a community archive of interviews by and with Flatbush-PLG community members. Our archive will eventually be accessible through the Brooklyn Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library. Below is a sampling of oral history interviews collected, with more being added regularly.

Nowshin Ali and Anurag Shrivastava

Narrators: Nowshin Ali and Anurag Shrivastava

Interviewer: Nancy Hoch

Collection: COVID-19 and Flatbush East

Date: June 30, 2020

Topics: COVID-19, pandemic, food, food security, immigrants, India, Ramadan, schools, Parents Association groups, "People In Need," volunteering, culturally specific foods, grocery delivery, community

Nowshin Ali and Anurag Shrivastava describe their efforts to distribute food to the community through the organization People In Need. (Note: recording starts at 18 second mark)

Carmen Castillo-Barrett


Narrator: Carmen Castillo Barrett

Interviewer: Elizabeth Oliver

Collection: COVID-19

Date: April 13, 2020

Topics: COVID-19, science, pandemic, remote learning, education, teaching, parenting, germs, New York City, children, Brooklyn

Carmen Castillo-Barrett reports on how teachers and students have adapted to remote learning, and highlights the importance of science education.

Emily Tellier


Narrator: Emily Tellier

Interviewer: Laura Thorne

Collection: COVID-19

Date: April 22, 2020

Topics: COVID-19, dance, movement, artist, Brooklyn, Vancouver, neighborhood, queer dance, community action, Gibney, artist relief funds, social distancing

Emily Tellier describes life as a dancer, the “iconic space” of Gibney Dance, and what COVID restrictions have meant to her.


Sue Yellin


Narrator: Sue Yellin

Interviewer: Nancy Hoch

Collection: COVID-19

Date: April, 26 2020

Topics: COVID-19, pandemic, housing, affordable housing, PLG, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, Patio Gardens, development, 626 Flatbush Avenue, rent, activism, eviction, Prospect Park East Network, assisted living, CityFEPS, neighbors, community, mutual aid, elections, jazz, artists

Sue Yellin discusses facing eviction during COVID-19 and her ongoing struggle to find affordable housing.

Wesley Jean Simon


Narrator: Wesley Jean Simon

Interviewer: Tracy Sidesinger

Collection: Flatbush Eats

Date: October 21, 2021

Topics: Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, Haiti, restaurants, Haitian cooking, community, neighborhood, Creole culture, Zanmi, Caribbean, Flatbush, black rice, breadfruit, djon djon, Haiti earthquake

Wesley Jean Simon, chef and owner of Zanmi, a community-oriented Haitian restaurant on Nostrand Avenue, talks about the culture of Creole, Haitian, and Caribbean food and the importance of community.

Andre Hueston Mack


Narrator: Andre Mack Hueston

Interviewer: Deborah Mutnick

Collection: Flatbush Eats

Date: October 26, 2021

Key words: food, wine, sommelier, restaurants, neighborhoods, New York, Brooklyn, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Rogers Avenue, And Sons, Chickadee Bread, Mockingbird, Kingfisher, breakfast tacos, "Service Included," Trenton, Texas, community

Andre Hueston Mack, sommelier and owner of five restaurants in PLG, talks about the origins of his love of wine and food, how he came to the neighborhood, and what it means to share his passion with his community and his children.