Our Story

We hold the honor and distinction of being "The Oldest Black Incorporated Town In America".  Over the years,
some of the most brilliant minds have written about the history of our town, analyzed the ground (along with it's
contents) on which Brooklyn stands.  No one can tell the story of Brooklyn but her people.  The determination
and struggles of her people to survive against the odds can only be told by her children.  This is the essence of
this site.  We want the world to know our story.

Our proud elders have preserved the history of Brooklyn, Illinois, through oral tradition, entrusting it to the next
generation to protect.  The generation of elders that are with us now are perishing.  An effort is underway to
record their life experiences and catalog their precious photos and records. Brooklyn's historical records are on
microfilm, located in Belleville, Illinois. These records are fading and no system  of recovery is in place to
preserve the information that they contain.  It is imperative that we retrieve  copies of these records and
implement a system to store them ourselves. We are  committed to preserving our past so that we can secure our

We dedicate this site to honor our elders who have fought and struggled to keep our town alive.

"Founded by Chance, Sustained by Courage" was coined by our elder Mrs. Juanita Clemons.  It became our
towns' motto and now  serves as the rallying cry for our generation.

Throughout the years, Brooklyn has sent  forth her sons and daughters  to acquire knowledge and skills that  
could be used to assist in moving Brooklyn forward thus  fulfilling  the legacy handed down from our founding
families.  Upon returning home, some chose to join forces with the corrupt whose mantra was personal financial
gain. They purposely and willing allowed their souls to become intoxicated with power and corruption.  Under
their leadership, our town fell into decay.  They were convicted of stealing the town's money, bribery, extortion
and murder. Our land, our legacy was being sold piece by piece. Vice and corruption took over.  Our elders fled
or hid behind locked doors in fear.  The media, local and state officials have forecast our self destruction and
demise.   They are like vultures circling the  wounded, patiently waiting for all signs of life to cease before
moving in to consume flesh. They underestimate our resilience and tenacity.

We now have new leadership that has proven to be honest and determined to restore the peaceful existence
that our citizens once knew.  Under the leadership of Mayor Nathaniel O'Bannon lll,  revitalization plans are
being implemented to attract new businesses and encourage former citizens to invest in the community.  This
generation of sons and daughters are returning home to join in the struggle  with those who chose to stay and
fight the fight.  We have not forgotten our mission. We proudly grasp the baton placed in our hands by our
elders and we will fulfill the dreams of those eleven courageous families that laid the blueprint for us to follow.  

I can only speak for myself when I say that I know that I was born for this purpose.  It has been said that if a man
has not found something he is willing to die for, he is not fit to live.  My journey of self discovery has revealed an
intense passion that I did not know existed within me. I am dedicated to see this project to completion or die
trying. I will not stand by and watch my hometown disappear, only to  become a footnote in history.  
                                 We will rise from the ashes like a beautiful  phoenix....  

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