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Oral History Interview with Idris Braithwaite, July 7, 2018

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Idris Braithwaite discusses his childhood in Brooklyn, being raised in a Muslim household following his parents' conversion to Islam from Christianity, and his approach to educating his own children about Islam. He also talks about his relationship with his African American and Muslim identities, including the distinction he draws between Muslim beliefs and Arab culture. In addition, he speaks extensively about his father's founding of Abu Baker's Bakery (now known as Abu's Homestyle Bakery) in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2001 and his own management of the bakery starting in 2011, especially regarding the bakery's focus on bean pies and their significance to the Muslim African American community. Interview conducted by Zaheer Ali.

Biographical / Historical

Idris Braithwaite was born in 1971 in Brooklyn. He had a strong interest in dance and music from a young age, including attending his father's music rehearsals and working as a DJ. As an adult, he served on the Bedford-Stuyvesant Gateway Business Improvement District Board, founded the non-profit Aunt and Uncle Youth Employment Services, and took over management of Abu's Homestyle Bakery (originally known as Abu Baker's Bakery) in 2011 from his father, Idris Conry (interviewed for this collection on June 21, 2018).

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at the Center for Brooklyn History's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201