We must make sure that we are not written out of the history books, out of the libraries, out of our own communities. The only way to do that is to make sure we talk about people like Dr. Joan Maynard who build institutions. We have to maintain that our history, our people and their contributions are appreciated and are important and let no one forget
Senator Montgomery proudly attended a ceremony to coname part of Buffalo Avenue after Dr. Joan Maynard. Dr. Maynard was a founding member, former president and former executive director of the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford Stuyvesant History, now Weeksville Heritage Society.
Dr. Joan Maynard was an artist, a community organizer and a preservationist who devoted decades to preserving what remains of Weeksville, one of America’s first freed black communities. Weeksville was started by longshoreman James Weeks in the 19th century and quickly became a thriving community of free blacks with its own churches, schools, businesses and cemetery. By the late 1960s, Weeksville was largely replaced by present day Brooklyn but remnants of the community remained, including a row of homes that were slated to be demolished for new housing.
When she learned of this tangible history right in Crown Heights, Dr. Maynard leapt into action and made the preservation of these homes her life’s work. She advocated tirelessly for the preservation of these homes, securing the site a place on the National Register of Historic Places. She was devoted to the education of her community, children and adults alike and was committed to helping black children foster a sense of pride in their own history.
Senator Montgomery joined her colleagues and many others in honoring Dr. Joan Maynard’s work and spirit, stating, “She spoke softly but there was an urgency; a tenacity. You couldn’t rest in her presence.”
To learn more about Dr. Maynard's legacy, visit:
To vist the Weeksville Heritage Center and to learn more about this cultural gem, visit http://www.weeksvillesociety.org
To learn more about the street re-naming honoring Dr. Maynard, visit http://www.kingscountypolitics.com/tearing-statues-erecting-new-ones/