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50 Years of Integration

Queens Library, in partnership with Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, presents 50 Years of Integration with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Starr Foundation.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 had a profound impact on demographics in Queens, transforming the cultural fabric of the borough. The 50 Years of Integration series will focus on the changes in Flushing and Corona/East Elmhurst, and how residents have come together to organize around the evolving economic, educational, safety and housing needs in their neighborhoods.

Please join us for this exciting series of panel discussions and workshops. Learn more about these fascinating communities and take the opportunity to share your personal stories and artifacts about the Flushing and Corona/East Elmhurst neighborhoods.

Program Schedule

Queens Memory: 50 Years of Integration

Saturday, January 21 @ 2 pm
41-17 Main Street

Join a panel of Flushing experts to share stories and memories about Flushing, and engage in discussion about our neighborhood’s past, present, and future. Bring your memories and ideas, and expect to learn something new about our community. You are also invited to bring any Flushing photographs and memorabilia, and the Queens Memory team will be on hand to digitize them and save them to a thumb drive that you can take home after the presentation.
Dr. Philip Kasinitz, Chair, Sociology department, CUNY Graduate Center
John Choe, Executive Director, Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Tarry Hum, Professor of Urban Studies, Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center
Irving Poy, Director of Planning and Development, Queens Borough President's Office

Register Now

Queens Memory: Downtown Flushing, Then and Now

Sunday, January 22 @ 2 pm
41-17 Main Street

欢迎参加下列两场关于法拉盛的过去、现在和将来的现场讨论。1月21日(星期六)的讨论使用英文,1月22日(星期天)的讨论使用中文。社会学家Philip Kasinitz博士将主持21日的讨论,与会者包括本地居民、商家和社区领袖,他们将就种族和文化变迁、商业发展和土地使用等对法拉盛社区造成深刻影响的话题进行深入的交流。1月22日的讨论将由Lingjing Bian女士主持。
上述展览是“皇后记忆:50年的大融合”活动的一部分,得到了National Endowment for the Humanities的支持。本節目还得到了斯塔爾基金(Starr Foundation)的贊助。
Lingjing Bian, Queens Borough President's Office
Pauline Chu, President, Chinese American Parents Association
Peter Koo, NYC Councilman
Xinye (Paul) Qiu, Assistant Manager, Flushing Library

School Integration in Queens: A Look Back

Thursday, January 26 @ 6 pm
Langston Hughes
100-01 Northern Blvd, Corona

Susie Tanenbaum, Director of Immigrant & Inter-cultural Affairs at the Queens Borough President's Office, will lead a panel on the history of school integrations at PS 92 and PS 149 in Jackson Heights and PS 148 and PS 127 in Corona/East Elmhurst. Alumni, parents, and teachers welcome!

A Discussion on Home and Why Place Matters

Saturday, February 4 @ 2 pm
Langston Hughes
100-01 Northern Blvd, Corona

Our neighborhoods are changing every second—for better or worse. How does this affect us, our families, our communities and our health? How do we handle realities like segregation, violence and rebuilding in 2017? How can we repair and reconnect what has been fractured and rally around what is beautiful? Come hear from our distinguished panel of speakers.

Art As Activism: A Blackout Poetry Workshop

Thursday, February 9 @ 6 pm
Langston Hughes
100-01 Northern Blvd, Corona

Calling all artists and poets! Join us for a fun and interactive workshop where you will create your own poems using text from books, newspapers and magazines—a technique known as blackout poetry. We will explore themes related to history, civil rights, community empowerment and social activism. Open to all ages. Supplies will be provided. This program is presented by The Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County.

Community Organizing Today in Corona / East Elmhurst

Saturday, February 25 @ 2 pm
Langston Hughes
100-01 Northern Blvd, Corona

Dr. Premilla Nadasen, Associate Professor of History at Barnard College, will lead a panel discussion on contemporary activism in the Corona/East Elmhurst area. Issues to be explored include the organizing of domestic workers and recent immigrant communities.

Get Free Tickets Now

Do Your Homework

Read up on the history of integration in New York! Here are some selections, available for check out at Queens Library:

The Future of Us All: Race and Neighborhood Politics in New York City

by Roger Sanjek

Black Corona

by Steven Gregory

Black Women and Politics in New York City

by Julie Gallagher


Photo Credits (clockwise from top left)

Flushing Fantastic Street Fair
Residents enjoy the Flushing Fantastic street fair on Main Street, June 11, 1979. The fair was held annually in the late 1970s and early 1980s in an effort to revitalize the business district.
Shirley Chisholm Meets With Library Staff
In July 1974, U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) met with Tyrone Bryant, director of the Langston Hughes Library, and Helen Marshall, head of the library action committee. Marshall went into politics herself and was elected Queens Borough President in 2002.
Support and Planning for a Young Institution, circa 1981
Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center Director, Andrew Jackson, meets with members of the Library Action Committee of Corona-East Elmhurst, Inc. (LAC), the Queens Library Board of Trustees, and Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette at the original Langston Hughes Library. Assemblyman Lafayette was instrumental in providing discretionary grants from the Assembly through the NYS Department of Education to fund the Black Heritage Reference Center Collection. The Board of LAC operated and were responsible for staffing and running the library and cultural center for its first 18 years as a "federally funded special project" of Queens Library until it achieved "full branch status" in 1987, under a Memorandum of Understanding that still exists today.
Korea Town Plaza, Opening Day 1994
The parking lot entrance to Korea Town Plaza is marked with a banner for its grand opening in December, 1994. The large Asian supermarket was located in the former Post Office building on 39th Avenue near the waterfront.