NYC H2O and author Miriam Sicherman were joined by 300 attendees over Zoom to discuss her book about Barren Island’s hidden history in NYC. Barren Island was a remote place in Jamaica Bay where the city’s garbage and dead animals were processed for many decades. A motley group of immigrant and African American workers did this work, and with their families, built a thriving community on the island. Their lives were transformed when New York City’s first municipal airport, Floyd Bennett Field, was built on the island, and when Robert Moses evicted them to build the Marine Parkway Bridge.
About the speaker: Miriam Sicherman is the author of Brooklyn’s Barren Island: A Forgotten History. She is an elementary school teacher in Manhattan and studied at Bank Street College of Education, and has a master’s in history from Brooklyn College.