Brown is the consummate griot.
— Glenville Ashby, Jamaica Gleaner
So, to go along with my early, ‘Wow!, of approval, let me add this: If you are part of the Caribbean diaspora you should read this book. If you are part of the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora you have to read this book. Everyone else is invited.
— Jeff Hercules, Big Drum Nation

East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home

The book is an ethnographic memoir that examines life growing up in the West Indian enclave of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Much of the book centers around music, and it pays homage to a borough that is quickly changing under the specter of gentrification. Author and former Syracuse University professor Danielle Brown uses music to teach the reader about life in this immigrant community, as well as in her parents' native Trinidad. Recalling the songs of her youth, especially the ones that her mother would sing to her, Brown employs musicfrom calypso to hip hopas an educational tool to teach history and to illuminate how the legacy of colonialism and imperialism continues to impact people of color today. 

NEW!!! The East of Flatbush Playlist is now available on Spotify! Subscribe to our email list and follow us on Spotify for updates and to gain access to exclusive playlists. See the East of Flatbush Spotify Content Guide below for details.

Teacher Guidebook

In the companion guidebook to East of Flatbush, North of Love, Dr. Danielle Brown advises novice and experienced teachers on how to incorporate the book into their classes. The guidebook contains six chapters, which correspond with the six chapters of East of Flatbush. In each chapter, the author provides: a list of key terms; guided reading/summary questions; sample exercises and assignments; “hot topics” (to generate critical thinking on controversial and complex topics); and additional resources (i.e. books, films, etc.). In addition, two sample lesson plans are provided, one geared towards middle and high school students, the other designed for students in college.

 

East of Flatbush Spotify Content Guide

Most of the songs in the book are available in the playlist. Songs that are not included are: "Trinidad Paseo" (Lovey’s String Band); "Portrait of Trinidad" (Mighty Sniper); "Historia de Trinidad" (San Jose Serenaders); "Mangoes" (Trinidad Folk song); "Trinidad the Godfather" (King Swallow); "Kaka Roach" (Lord Kitchener); "Rainorama" (Lord Kitchener); "Dead or Alive" (Shurwayne Winchester); "Calling Meh" (Destra Garcia); "The Grinch" (Myron B.); "Sereno, Sereno," "A la medianoche," "Alegría, Alegría" (La Divina Pastora); "Good Mornin'" (3 Canal); "Oshun Karele," "Ogun Ye Ku De Ye Baba" (Ella Andall); “Shango” (Roaring Lion), "Rum and Coca-Cola" (Lord Invader); "Boom Up History" (3 Canal); and “Doing Time” (Roderick Gordon). For some songs, I’ve included two versions, and in other cases I've included alternate versions in lieu of the originals which could not be found. Alternates for the following songs are included: "Family" (Lord Nelson); "African" (Brother Superior); "Black is Beautiful" (Mighty Duke). The original version of Trini 2 De Bone is included in the playlist. However, it is not the one referred to in the book, which has an added verse sung by Carl Jacobs.

You can access the East of Flatbush Playlist here. Enjoy!