Oral History: Rasheed Johnson, Red Hook Houses Resident, 2013

Interviewed in 2013 at age 19, Rasheed Johnson, a resident of NYCHA’s Red Hook houses, talks about how the neighborhood has changed in the past 8 years since he got here. Development has eliminated all his “hang out spots” except for Valentino Pier. “I spend more time at home... If I go outside… I go to Valentino Pier… Where you see the Red Hook blocks… I’ll go sit on those blocks and watch the waves.”

Rasheed Johnson:
Interview by, and courtesy of, oral historian Shannon Geis.



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  • Shannon Geis's Red Hook Stories is a collection of oral histories collected as part of her Master's thesis research at Columbia University. She spent a year interviewing residents from all over the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn in order to explore the different definitions of community and the role of place in the way that we form our identities. 

    Shannon Geis has very generously allowed PortSide NewYork to use snippets of her interviews.  The full interview of Rasheed Johnson along with a written summary was available on her website and can still be found on an archived copy of website (2024)


    Shannon Geis, “Rasheed Johnson,” Red Hook Stories, accessed October 12, 2016, http://www.redhookstories.org/items/show/3.

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