Operation Cleansweep: Borough Hall ?


In the fall of 1962, the Brooklyn Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) petitioned for the borough government to address the lack of sanitation in the predominantly black neighborhood, Bedford-Stuyvesant. Since their requests were ignored, Brooklyn CORE staged a protest called Operation Clean Sweep, hauling their trash from their neighborhood and placing it on the steps of the Borough Hall. This demonstration resulted in increased attention to the neighborhood’s sanitation as well as larger issues of racial discrimination.

I chose to work with students for this site of memory, as some of the people most prominent in the archived images were children. I did a series with my former school, The Crown School, in order to share this memory of Black Brooklyn with the students.

Used with Permission: Brooklyn Public Library—Brooklyn Collection