Shameeka Mattis was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her father immigrated to the United States from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and her mother grew up in Brooklyn. She received a B.A. in English and Sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an M.S.W. from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
"It just felt like every time I came to Brooklyn… it was always 100 new white people on the train, 50 new white people, and I’m like “This is different.” Because racially Brooklyn was the black borough in so many different parts… So feeling that difference, at first I was just in shock and then I was angry because I knew that that meant that the property values were going to go up and… that the faces that would represent mine wouldn’t necessarily be there.”
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Date: July 11, 2013
Citation: Oral history interview with Shameeka Mattis, 2013, 2011.019.054; Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Oral History Collection, 2011.019; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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