We all see Brooklyn changing. Our borough wasn't the place to be when I was growing up. It was overlooked and neglected by the city, but we made it our own.
The phrase "BK before Barclays" signifies that change or a shift in the culture after small local business were replaced by the glamour of Barclays and condos. Barclays is just one of many changes, but it represents a new territory that's not ours. A whole new demographic of people moved in with it. Coffee shops, bars, co-working spaces and bike lanes replace bodegas and businesses that have served us for generations - that knew our names, and that helped us out when we didn't have it. We walk around our own neighborhoods, but are looked at as strangers. Our homes were torn down for new buildings that aren't meant for us. Good comes with the bad.
Now many of the people who were born and bred here are leaving, and they're taking the stories and the culture with them.
BK b4 Barclays'™ mission is to preserve our stories - our struggles, and more importantly, our successes. Along the way, we are creating a platform to share resources, knowledge, and connections to build economic success in the community, specifically through the stories of local small businesses. We want our Brooklyn to have a chance at success alongside the change.
The Brooklyn that created us and that raised the Biggie Smalls, the Jay-Zs, the Mike Tysons, the Spike Lees -- it's disappearing. Even our new generation doesn't know that side of Brooklyn, but BK b4 Barclays™ is here to not only ensure the history is preserved, but that we continue to grow and learn from it.
Our platform will have professional, high-quality video interview featuring local business owners, creative entrepreneurs, and others who have created success on their own terms. The website will showcase relatable resources and give audiences an opportunity to share and receive knowledge and connections.
These funds will be used for producing 10 interviews and the first complete run of BK b4 Barclays™ merchandise in time for the new year.
I appreciate your support and belief in this project and in preserving these stories and resources in a way that can be used to bring up the next generation.
- TaRon Pollard
- L A
- Brian Pindell