Brownstoner: Producer Charles Hobson Remembers ‘Inside Bedford Stuyvesant’ on its 50th Anniversary

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by Craig Hubert

When Charles Hobson was growing up, the stretch of Hancock Street between Nostrand and Marcy Avenue he called home felt like a close-knit, homey place. Born in 1936, the former television producer and documentarian recalls a block that had, along with his parents, immigrants from the West Indies and Jamaica, people from Barbados, a few other Jamaicans, plus his two white neighbors: On one side was a dentist and wife; on the other an Irish guy named Corcoran who looked like “he hadn’t had a haircut in 20 years.”

The area’s numerous churches were a point of connection. Hobson would regularly walk with his mother to the Concord Baptist Church on the corner of Marcy Avenue and Madison Street, a few blocks away, and he remembers Reverend Milton A. Galamison, a local pastor at the nearby Siloam Presbyterian Church, who was revered among his neighbors for his persistent activism. There were jazz clubs, and the sports teams at the historic Boys High School, where Hobson attended and ran track.

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Charles Hobson in his home in Boerum Hill