I started writing my memoir in 2012 and to this date I am still writing and revising. My book starts out with my life growing up in Brooklyn. I grew up in the Raymond V. Ingersoll Housing Development in Fort Greene Brooklyn. I was surrounded by history.
The school I attended, Public School 67, was at one time originally known as the “Colored School” and was the first school to serve blacks in Brooklyn in the 19th century. This is where the neighborhood children would play stoop ball, Kings and Queens and hot peas and butter games. When you got older this was where you told your friends to meet you when you were going roller skating. This was also the stoop you sat on in the summer evening to chat with friends. This was where you shared your dreams or watch the people pass by.
The elevated El-train opened above Myrtle Avenue in 1888 in 1969 the train line was removed. The train line ran uptown to Broadway and downtown to Jay Street. The El-train was a dark green structure with yellow straw seats. The fans were loud and swirled around hot air even in the winter months. The light bulbs were uncovered, and the metal hand-holders squeaked whenever someone held on to them. The train fare was one dime. I enjoyed riding the train with my moms. I loved to travel and still do.
Beyond my block was Fort Greene Park (the first park in Brooklyn) with its poised Prison Ship Martyrs Monument. A memorial to the more than 11,500 American prisoners of war who died in captivity aboard sixteen British prison ships during the American Revolutionary War. They are buried in the crypt underneath this monument.
I would walk the one-hundred steps to the monument and sit beneath it and take in the spectacular views of Manhattan. This is where I saw the development of the twin towers back in the 1970’s. The park now has tennis and basketballs courts, as well as, yearly concerts.