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Gentrifiers and Nannies: two new books, two upcoming author talks

Mar 21, 2011 11:20 AM | 0 comments

The intermittent stream of new books with significant content relating to Brooklyn has recently delivered to our desks two substantial volumes that will be of interest to our readers.

Suleiman Osman's The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) offers a history of Brownstone Brooklyn's transformation from the run-down slums of the 1940s and 1950s to the current landscape of beautifully renovated houses and apartments selling for millions of dollars. The "brownstoners" celebrated the historic buildings they occupied, joining with poorer residents to battle city planners and local machine politicians. But  by the 1980s the gentrifiers had become "yuppies" and an anti-gentrification movement raised complex questions about the value of gentrification for the original occupants of these increasingly expensive neighborhoods.

Suleiman Osman, Associate Professor of American Studies at George Washington University and long-time patron of the Brooklyn Collection, will be presenting an illustrated talk here in the Brooklyn Collection Reserve Room in the Central Library on Wednesday May 11th 2011, at 7:00 P.M. As usual we will serve wine and delicious snacks before the talk.

Tamara Mose Brown's book, Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare and Caribbeans Creating Community (New York: New York University Press, 2011) takes an intimate look at the lives of the childcare workers of Caribbean origin who underpin the economic wellbeing of Brownstone Brooklyn's two-income families. Through careful observation and interviews, Mose Brown shows that while some may be exploited and isolated, for many, daily interactions with each other in social spaces such as parks and libraries allow for a healthy collective life and a flourishing cultural identity. 

Tamara Mose Brown, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, CUNY, will present an illustrated talk here in the Brooklyn Collection Reserve Room in the Central Library on Wednesday May 25th 2011  at 7 P.M.  In spite of the miserable fiscal climate we will not allow our audience to go hungry into this talk either. Cheese and wine start at 6:30 P.M.