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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

When you hear the word Brownsville...

One question 50 people: Vincent, a community organizer with the Brownsville Partnership decided to ask 50 people in and around Brownsville, “When you hear the word ‘Brownsville’, what comes to your mind?”

There have been some very interesting responses to this simple but yet complicated question. It’s a simple question because for some young people they most likely think about the here and now. What’s going on in the neighborhood as they presently see it? It’s a complicated question to many old timers because it forces them to think about what used to be. The answer often reveals details about a community where children were raised by the entire village. Today, children seem to fend for themselves. Its survival of the fittest by any means necessary. The old timers talk about a time when family used to host “Rent parties” for families needing a little extra help for the month. Today you have the need for organizations such as the Brownsville Partnership because families are becoming homeless and forced into the shelter system at alarming rates. Old timers talk about bustling parks, fresh fruits and vegetable stands and community shops carrying anything and everything you could possibly need. Today Brownsville is packed with 99 cent stores and corner stores with anything but healthy food.

What I see is a community with rich history, residents with the resilience to keep going and children with so much potential that only the sky can limit them. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in many places in and out of New York and have had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. But there is no place like Brownsville and I haven’t met one person that could measure up to personalities I’ve met in Brownsville. There’s no place like home.

I encourage everyone to visit Brownsville, Brooklyn and if you would like a personal tour, you can reach out to anyone at the Brownsville Partnership. After your visit, I invite you to ask yourself, “When you hear the word ‘Brownsville’, what comes to your mind?”


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