Brooklyn Street Renamed After Racial Attack Victim Yusuf Hawkins

Brooklyn Street Renamed After Racial Attack Victim Yusuf Hawkins

One of the most prominent names among Black victims of racial injustice over the years has had a street named for him in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York.

According to CBS NY, there is now a street in Brooklyn named for Yusuf Hawkins, a Brooklyn man who was shot to death more than 30 years ago in a racially motivated attack in the Bensonhurst neighborhood.

The renaming of the street is located at the corner of Verona Place and Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant and the renaming dedication took place on what would have been Hawkins’ 48th birthday.

“Anybody that walks down Fulton Avenue and Verona Place/Yusuf Kirriem Hawkins Way now, hey, take a look, turn to the mural, and look up in the sky because he’s looking down on all of us,” Yusuf’s brother Amir Hawkins said about the honor.

According to NY1, on Aug. 23, 1989, Hawkins and some of his friends went to Bensonhurst to purchase a used car when a group of white men attacked him with baseball bats because they erroneously thought he was dating a white girl in the neighborhood. He was also shot in the chest which caused his death.

Hawkins’ death sparked outrage and at the time, started a movement against the racism that New York City was experiencing and it helped boost the candidacy of David Dinkins, who was elected as the city’s first Black mayor less than three months later.