A project of Brooklyn Historical Society


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Ground Rules:

Step Up and challenge assumptions and question miscommunications and say when something rubs you the wrong way even if you don’t know exactly why. If you’re usually the quiet one in a group, challenge yourself to Step Up and add your voice to the discussion.

Step Back and question your reactions, engage in self-reflection, and notice if you’re feeling defensive. If you’re usually the loud one in a group, challenge yourself to Step Back and listen to other people for awhile.


Talking about race and ethnicity and other perceived differences, like class and gender, can be difficult. There’s a lot of tension around talking about our identities and experiences. But there’s joy to be found when we are able to have open, honest communication in a diverse group. This is a space to practice.
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2 Comments | Most Recent Comment: 3 years 3 months ago

At the Identity & Oral History workshop at the Brooklyn Museum (grounded in the Question Bridge: Black Males exhibit), participants discussed important turning points in our lives and practiced deep listening skills, which inspired reflections on the role of storytelling and listening in our own lives.

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2 Comments | Most Recent Comment: 3 years 4 months ago
Why are we interested in life stories? What do we learn by hearing other people's experiences? What do we gain by sharing our own histories? Let us know your thoughts on listening to the interviews in this oral history collection.
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4 Comments | Most Recent Comment: 3 years 10 months ago

When I tell people that I am working on a project about mixed-heritage families, people often respond with something like “Oh, mixed babies are so cute!” or “Mixed-race people are so beautiful!” This is meant to be a compliment - but it's also stereotyping (and objectifying) a large, diverse group of people. 

What do you think?