Voices of Lefferts: The Flatbush-PLG Community Writing Journal

Voices of Lefferts: The Flatbush-PLG Community Writing Journal is a biannual collection of writing and artwork that tell the neighborhood’s stories in the voices of the people who live here. Each issue contains the narratives written by participants of our writing workshops, plus artwork and documentary photography. The journal is designed and produced locally, and can be bought for $6 at Greenlight Bookstore at 632 Flatbush Avenue. The journal is archived in the Brooklyn Collection of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Voices of Lefferts is a community-based history project that engages Flatbush-Prospect Lefferts Gardens residents in community dialogue, writing, publishing, and oral history.

They aim to document the life of the neighborhood in the words of the people who live here.

Inspired by the Federal Writers’ Project, Voices of Lefferts provides a platform for residents to conduct oral histories, participate in free writing workshops, write their own stories, attend public readings and conversations about local history, culture, and common concerns, and publish their writing in Voices of Lefferts: The Flatbush-PLG Community Writing Journal.

With the support of two consecutive Humanities New York Action Grants (2017-2019), Voices of Lefferts took up residence at Grace Reformed Church in fall 2017 to offer free writing workshops, and partnered with Greenlight Bookstore for author readings and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection to archive the journal. In fall 2019, the project held its first oral history training workshop to give residents the tools to obtain local life histories. 

The project is entirely community-based and run by volunteers. The main goal is to engage community members in documenting and preserving our their history in a time of rapid change, development, and displacement. They aim to build skills together to preserve the past, articulate the present, and collectively imagine the future of their neighborhood.