This 1960s Group Empowered Black Youth in Brooklyn

Part two of a four-part series from the film archive of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Sept. 16, 2016 - Youth in Action, a community organization in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in the 1960s, offers a counterpoint to the often violent images of America’s cities in that era. This footage, filmed by a community activist, shows the real-world effects of the group’s efforts: young people engaged in sports, the arts, and other activities to better themselves and their world. Cameos by Jacqueline Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy point to the group's relationship to the Great Society programs of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

These historic documents are now part of the collection of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Rhea Combs, curator of film and photography, provides commentary, while the footage shows a parade and ribbon cutting, a Christmas party, a dance recital, and fencing practice.

Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth in Action
2012.79.1.104.1a-b
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Gift of Pearl Bowser
Copyright: Lowell P. Beveridge