Dorrance Brooks

Private First Class Dorrance Brooks – World War I Hero & Beloved Son of Harlem

As president of the Dorrance Brooks Square Property Owners and Residents Association, I am proud to announce that our application submitted in December 2019 to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has been calendared for consideration by LPC on February 1st, 2021. Private First Class Dorrance Brooks (d. 1918), was an African American soldier who died in France shortly before the end of World War I. A native of Harlem and the son of a Civil War veteran, Brooks was a Private First Class in the 15th Infantry/369th Infantry Regiment. 

In World War I, African-American soldiers served in segregated regiments and were not eligible for aid from the Army Nurse Corps or the American Red Cross. In spite of these discouragements, Brooks distinguished himself as a faithful and patriotic soldier. Brooks was praised for his “signal bravery” in leading the remnants of his company after his superior officers were killed.

Dorrance Brooks Square was dedicated on June 14, 1925 and was the first park in New York City to be named after an African-American. If approved by the NYC LPC, this will be the first historic district in New York City to be named after an African-American.

Dr. Keith Taylor

President, DBPORA 

www.dorrancebrookspora.org

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