1325 Union St.


Found in the Civil Rights section of the Brooklyn Collection, this news clipping detailed Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE’s) 25-hour sleep-in after a 34 year old Mrs. Chapman and her teenage children were barred from renting an apartment because of the “No Negroes” law. This protest which also involved two of CORE’s white members who helped reveal the apartment vacancies denied to Mrs. Chapman ultimately overturned the “No Negroes” law and permitted Mrs. Chapman’s residency there.

I volunteered my sister to be photographed here in order to impart the memory onto her, particularly because she is around the age of, at the time, Mrs. Chapman’s children. In the exact same door frame of the building Mrs. Chapman protested to reside in, my sister stood there in memoriam of this family who fought so hard simply to live. As my sister held up the photo frame, a black woman followed by a black man and black boy walked outside the door. The woman, protective over her shared property, asked loudly and suspiciously, “What are you doing?” Taken aback and a bit timid by the unapologetic nature of this question, I stuttered the title of my project, “Dare to Remember: A Digital Memorial of Black Brooklyn.” Her whole disposition changed. “Oh girl! Keep doing what you are doing!” Before I could explain what was in the photo frame, she walked off with her family but the silent memory of this place resonated with me even more. This moment of her appreciation of my project actually extended into her appreciation of Mrs. Chapman and Brooklyn CORE because without their work, she could not have claimed so unapologetically, ownership over the space.

Used with Permission: Civil Rights in Brooklyn Public Library—Brooklyn Collection