Author Michael Woodsworth’s Battle for Bed-Stuy

Author and historian Michael Woodsworth traces the legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in his book, Battle for Bed-Stuy. The book’s title uses the nickname of the neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, called Bedford-Stuyvesant. He argues that the War on Poverty created a national anti-poverty infrastructure, but it lacked the funding and time it needed to make a large impact. He also discusses how residents are trying to re-ignite community efforts in order to stop gentrification in Bed-Stuy today. Woodsworth sat for a three-part interview with Chasing the Dream’s Maya Navon.

Michael Woodsworth Interview on Bed-Stuy Activism, Part I


In his book Battle for Bed-Stuy, Michael Woodsworth details Bedford-Stuyvesant’s history of white flight, red-lining, and divestment throughout the mid-20th century. He discusses early grassroots organizing around gang violence and how the Central Brooklyn Coordinating Council became a civil rights group.

Michael Woodsworth Interview on Bed-Stuy Activism, Part II


Michael Woodsworth describes President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, focusing on the Community Action Program, which was designed to empower local communities. He discusses how this national program was implemented on the local level and highlights Elsie Richardson’s activism.

Michael Woodsworth Interview on Bed-Stuy Activism, Part III


Michael Woodsworth argues that the War on Poverty created a national anti-poverty infrastructure, but it lacked the funding and time it needed to make a large impact. He discusses how Bedford-Stuyvesant residents are trying to re-ignite community efforts in order to stop gentrification there today.