Honoring Brooklyn icons
Brooklyn streets to be named for Pete Hamill and Yusuf Hawkins
BY BEN VERDE
Famed newspaper columnist
Pete Hamill and 1980s
racial violence victim Yusuf
Hawkins will soon have their
names adorning two Brooklyn
streets, local leaders announced
Hamill, who became a legendary
the late 20th century covering
the city for the New York
Post and the Daily News, died
last year at the age of 85, and
will have his name above a
roadway in his birthplace of
Hamill would go on to
write a number of novels,
memoirs, and the liner notes
for Bob Dylan’s “Blood on
the Tracks,” for which he received
a Grammy award.
An East New York native,
Hawkins was murdered in
Bensonhurst in 1989 after a
group of white men mistakenly
believed he was romantically
involved with a local girl,
leading to a mob brawl that
saw Hawkins shot to death —
an incident that sparked widespread
COURIER LIFE, F 4 EBRUARY 12-18, 2021
protests, and ignited
a conversation about race
throughout New York City.
Joseph Fama, a teenager
at the time, was convicted
of second-degree murder in
May of 1990 for his role in the
Hawkins’ death received
new attention in past months
during similar protests over
more recent killings of unarmed
Black men, as well as
from an HBO documentary
on the incident that garnered
widespread critical praise.
“Although Pete Hamill
and Yusuf Hawkins came
from different worlds and left
different marks on history,
they were both Brooklynites
who contributed immeasurably
to the borough they call
Brad Lander and Robert Cornegy
said in a joint statement
with Borough President Eric
Adams. “These co-namings
will enshrine their memories
for generations to come.”
A pair of ceremonies will
take place in the coming
weeks when the yet-to-bedetermined
streets will receive
the iconic green street
signs, according to reps with
Pete Hamill and Yusuf Hawkins will have Brooklyn streets co-named for them. WikiMedia Commons
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