Fort Greene

Susan O’Garro

Mrs. O’Garro is a hero who cares and nourishes our community. Edmund and Susan O’Garro  moved to Fort Greene in 1953 and Mrs. O’Garro immediately began to make a difference. She participated in the neighborhood breakfast program and advocated for a daycare center, which became a loving, safe, engaging, and joyful place for children. She raised many of the young adults that still reside in our community.  As Mrs. O’Garro, also known as Grandma Susie, helped the youth grow, they also contributed to her and her children’s growth. 

Over the years, things have changed in our community and some of those changes have affected our neighborhood in a hurtful way. The children no longer have a safe space to go, the environment has changed, the seniors have passed away and the young people now must rely on schools to care for them rather than the wisdom from seniors like Mrs. O’Garro.


Mrs. O’Garro and her family deeply wish there were programs and centers to keep the children in the community occupied and out of trouble. Grandma Susie has a loving heart, a witty spirit, a caring personality, a great sense of humor and an ability to radiate a sense of family everywhere — all of which she projects to everyone no matter who you are. 


Grandma Susie is one of the strongest Black women that Fort Greene has. She has raised a beautiful family that carries her many qualities. Their ability to make anyone feel comfortable and loved is truly amazing.  Their advice to our youth is to stay in school, and/or find trade programs (such as plumbing/electrical) and stay focused.  With love and consideration, Grandma Susie and her family give these wise words to each one of us.  “In order to have a finish, you must have a start.” We love you Grandma Susie!! 

Portrait by

Diana McClure

Diana McClure is an art writer, photographer, and cultural producer based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn for over 2 decades. Diana’s essays, reviews, profiles, and photographs have appeared in a variety of publications and venues both online and in print.

Text by

Amyiah Harris

Amyiah Harris is 16 years old and an aspiring model and doctor. “I live in Fort Greene and I love hearing about all the people who made a big impact on my community.”

Special thanks Susan O’Garro and her community for gathering on April 22, 2021 to share her stories:

Darrell Chambers, Phyllis “Bayo” Brown-Richardson, Thalia Williams, Al Jackson, Wanda Cheeks Jackson, Pam Jasper, Nayeh Martin, Nyla Martin, Destiny Kelly, Stephanie McKay, Catrice Davis-Ford, Nadja White, Nakida Camilla, Carolyn Chambers, Vondel Chamber Anderson, Aishah Ali, Khloe Askew, Dominiqua Byrd, Frances McKay, Mr. O’Garro, Juanita O’Garro, Sylvia Cheeks, Susan O’Garro, Marjorie Chambers, Roy Rumph, Loretta Parson, Eugene Taylor and Ronald O’Garro .

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