History & Culture
Bedford-Stuyvesant’s name comes from two historic places. The village of Bedford was established in the 17th century and was the backdrop for some important moments in the Revolutionary War, though nothing remains of it today. (It was centered around the present-day intersection of Bedford and Fulton.) The “Stuyvesant” comes from Stuyvesant Heights, long an area of farms and now a smaller neighborhood within Bed-Stuy, along its southern edge. Weeksville (located either in Crown Heights or Bed-Stuy, depending on whose borders you follow) was founded as a free-black community in the 19th century. Bed-Stuy’s role as a center of African-American life dates mostly from the 20th century, when the Great Migration and rising rents in Harlem led African-Americans to settle in Bed-Stuy. Recent decades have seen a new chapter begin, as Caribbean immigrants as well as those priced out of Brooklyn’s more expensive neighborhoods are rediscovering Bed-Stuy.