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'Bed-Stuy Forever' Archives the Rich History of Black Brooklyn

Bed-Stuy archivist Faith Robinson, 27, said her project is a "love letter" to her neighborhood.
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Date night at the club Baby Grand located at 1274 Fulton Street between Nostrand Avenue and Bedford Avenue, circa 1950. Photo: Courtesy of Faith Robinson.

Bed-Stuy archivist Faith Robinson's project, "Bed-Stuy Forever," is her latest love letter to her neighborhood, reports Patch.

Robinson, 27, has spent more than a year archiving a neighborhood that has been home to her family since her mom first arrived in Bed-Stuy from North Carolina in the 1960s.

After seeing other New York City archival Instagram accounts, Robinson decided to make one for Bed-Stuy. She spent the last year delving through archives and books in libraries with the mission of sharing and preserving the stories of her neighborhood.

"She would just share stories of what Bed-Stuy was like back then," Robinson, a teaching assistant, said.

Called "Bed-Stuy Forever," the Instagram page shows a mix of black-and-white and color photographs ranging from over 100 years ago to the late 1990s, alongside some short documentary videos Robinson made.

Robinson said the account is "a love letter to [her] neighborhood," and seeks to present a more intimate history through pictures, short films and interviews with longtime residents.

"I've just been going to the library, getting books, getting pictures," she said. "I want to go deeper than social media."

Eventually, Robinson hopes to turn "Bed-Stuy Forever" into a stand-alone website, filled with photos and oral histories for people to explore on their own. But, her ultimate goal is to go even closer to home and make a documentary film about her own block on Madison Street.

"I've been kind of going around my neighborhood and asking my neighbors that they are willing to share archives," Robinson said, noting that she has several upcoming interviews. 

"There's a few Black families left who own brownstones on this block. Everyone knows about the famous people who lived here. But, I really do want to focus on just getting the more intimate stories."

"Bed-Stuy Forever" accepts submissions. Anyone interested in contributing to the archive can contact Robinson through her Instagram page