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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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Oral history interview conducted by Manissa McCleave Maharawal
October 18, 2013
Call number: 2008.031.4.001
26:04 - Aftermath: checking on people & cars and communicating; Days after: loss, salvage, supplies, breakfast prep
Oral History Interview with Pam Harris
Pam Harris has lived in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn all her life. She attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice, St. Joseph's College, and Capella University, where she received a master's degree in Human Development and Family Studies. A retired corrections officer in 2013, she devoted her time to local community efforts including the founding of the non-profit organization for youth; Coney Island Generation Gap. An advocate for restoring services following Superstorm Sandy, Harris was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2015.
In this interview, Pam Harris reflects on growing up in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn and identifies the diversity there. She speaks about retiring, but never ceasing to work on community-focused projects, and starting up a youth program that enables young people (her "kids") to create video productions in their free time. Harris recounts, in nearly hour-by-hour detail, when Superstorm Sandy made landfall and the immediate effects it had on her family and her neighbors. She recalls her efforts at outreach; checking on neighbors, gathering supplies, and preparing meals in the early days, then repairing her home, making a new effort at her youth organization and advocating for funds and repairs for Coney Island at large. Interview conducted by Manissa McCleave Maharawal.
The Voices of Brooklyn oral histories: Community activists series features a dynamic range of narrators. Some are prominent public figures and others are well-known in their communities. This ongoing series focuses on Brooklyn history and the experiences of these narrators who have a history of or were presently supporting an underrepresented segment of society, or forming a social movement, which thereby effected broad change to a neighborhood, much of Brooklyn, or the country. The content relates directly to organized support of those harmed in natural disasters, creating cooperative business models, forming architectural preservation groups, and documenting civil rights and social justice movements. The oldest narrator in this collection was born in 1917.
CitationHarris, Pam, Oral history interview conducted by Manissa McCleave Maharawal, October 18, 2013, Voices of Brooklyn oral histories: Community activists, 2008.031.4.001; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Harris, Pamela
- Community activists
- Community beautification
- Hurricane damage
- Hurricane Sandy, 2012
- Mental health
- Nonprofit organizations
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidVoices of Brooklyn oral histories: Community activists