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Hofstra University Library Special Collections

Diverse Suburbs (Oral Histories):

According to the National Center for Suburban Studies, the suburbs have transformed America and no place more so than Long Island, New York. Nassau and Suffolk Counties may comprise one of the nation’s oldest suburban regions, but they are changing rapidly.  As one journalist put it, “They’re not your mother and father’s suburbs anymore.”  It’s a story of new immigrants and old poverty merging with old money and new wealth. It’s a uniquely American story that demands to be told in the voices and images of the people who live here. And the first people whose memories must be recorded for posterity are suburbia’s first pioneers, especially the poor and people of color whose stories were rarely told beyond their own neighborhoods. Now they will be told and preserved.

This collection includes a variety of different interviews with suburban Long Islanders describing their work and life experiences. They also discuss the future of Hofstra, Long Island, and race relations. The collection includes thirty two accounts from people from different neighborhoods on Long Island.  For more information about the project, please visit The Hofstra Suburban Oral History Project.

Themes in the collection include but are not limited to:

As these are samples from longer interviews, the full-length interviews contain multiple themes.