NYC Honorary Street Names


Jitu Weusi Plaza (Brooklyn)
Present name:Putnam Plaza
Honoree: Brooklyn-born Jitu K.Weusi (1939-2013), formerly known as Leslie R. Campbell, was an educator, political activist, and jazz impesario. He began his career in education with the NYC Department of Education in 1962 and was a founding member of the African-American Teachers Association (ATA). He was widely known for his involvement in the Ocean-Hill/Brownsville conflict, which was instrumental in bringing about changes nationwide in community control of public education. In the late 1960s, he left the Department of Education and opened the first Black independent private school for inner-city youth: Uhuru Sasa Shule (Freedom Now School). Among his political activities, he helped form the New York Chapter of the National Black United Front (NBUF); and African-Americans United for Political Power, which was a instrumental in the election of Mayor David Dinkins. He also worked on Reverend Al Sharpton’s campaign to become the first black US Senator from New York. In 1970, he was the principal operator of the East Cultural and Educational Center, where he presented weekly Jazz programs featuring such notables as Max Roach, Randy Weston, Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Hugh Masekela, and Sun Ra. An avid enthusiast, collector of and writer on Jazz music, he also the long-time chairperson of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium. (Cumbo)

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