Key to Flatbush - New historic guide debuts

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) celebrated the release of the “Flatbush Neighborhood History Guide,” the newest addition to its popular Neighborhood History Guide series, during a launch event at BHS, 128 Pierrepont Street at Clinton Street.

Beautifully written by historians Adina Back and Francis Morrone, and accompanied by images from the BHS Collections and Archives, the guide explores the history of Flatbush from its earliest written history to today.

“Since the earliest immigrants added their voices to those of the Native Americans, the languages of Flatbush have been many and diverse, changing over the last four centuries as different ethnic and immigrant groups have come and gone. This neighborhood guide tells a 400-year history of the people of Flatbush, beginning with the Native Americans of the seventeenth century through the first years of the 21st century,” wrote Back.

The celebration of this publication was bitter-sweet. Just as the book went to print, Back passed away. A portion of the evening was devoted to honoring the memory of Dr. Back and the breadth of her experience contributing to the scholarship of Brooklyn history.

Speakers that evening included Deborah Schwartz, president, Brooklyn Historical Society; Kate Fermoile, vice president for Exhibits and Education; Francis Morrone, author and historian; Sally Charnow, assistant professor of history, Hofstra University; Brian Purnell, assistant professor of African American Studies, Fordham University; and Annelise Orleck, professor of history, Dartmouth College.

The guide is available at BHS and online at for $8.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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