Brownsville, Brooklyn : NYC Tourist Guide

Brownsville, Brooklyn, in NYC, New York, USA


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Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City

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Brownsville
Brownsville is a neighborhood in central Brooklyn. Brownsville is predominantly Caribbean, Hispanic, and African-American.

North of Brownsville starts from East New York Avenue (on the Bedford-Stuyvesant border), the west is bordered on East 98th Street (East Flatbush), the east by Pennsylvania Avenue (East New York) ans south by the Long Island Rail Road (Linden Boulevard).

The zip code for the neighborhood is 11212.

History

Brownsville was politically radical from the 1880s to the 1950s during its Jewish days; it elected Socialist and American Labor Party candidates to the state assembly throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

As early as the 1910s, the area had acquired a reputation as a vicious slum and breeding ground for crime. It has been known throughout the years for its criminal gangs and in the 1930s and 1940s achieved notoriety as the birthplace of Murder, Inc.

By the 1960s, when its population had become largely African-American and Puerto Rican, Brownsville's unemployment rate was 17 percent. Half of all families in the district lived on less than $5,000 a year. As Jimmy Breslin wrote in 1968, that Brownsville reminded him of "Berlin after the war; block after block of burned-out shells of houses, streets littered with decaying automobile hulks. The stores on the avenues are empty and the streets are lined with deserted apartment houses or buildings that have empty apartments on every floor.

In 1968 Brownsville was the theater for a protracted and highly contentious teacher strike. The Board of Education had experimented with giving the people of the neighborhood control over the school. The new administration laid off several teachers in violation of union contract rules. The teachers were all white, and mostly Jewish and the resulting strike served to badly divide the whole city. The resulting strike dragged off and on for half a year, becoming known as one of the "Ten Plagues" of John Lindsay.





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