Boss of Black Brooklyn: The Life and Times of Bertram L. Baker

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Bertram Baker was a young immigrant from the small Caribbean island Nevis, the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, who settled in Brooklyn in the first part of the 20th century. As a young man, he would work his way up through the ranks of black Brooklyn society, joining the Democratic Party when it was still run mostly by the Irish but slowly changing with the demographics; eventually, he was elected to the New York State Assembly, making him the first black person to hold elected office in Brooklyn; this is just not the book to tell that story.

This book is written by a relative, his grandson, and it feels that way most of the time. There are digressions throughout the book that take the book off the rails and really do not bring much to the story unless you are interested in last names on the island of Nevis and how they changed through the generations. Honestly, this book could have used a few more edits as well because things are repeated over and over. The only interesting part was examining how Brooklyn changed demographically over the decades and how that impacted state politics.

Reviewed By:

Author Ron Howell
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Empire State Editions
Publish Date 2018-Oct-02
ISBN 9780823280995 Buy this Book
Issue January 2019
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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