Wellsprings of Faith: Ms. Alma Carroll

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Alma Carroll was touched by African History when she was born in Asheville, N.C. “The Land Of The Sky” December 16, 1925. Asheville was the summer home of the Vanderbilt’s and Alma’s grand uncle raised chickens at “Biltmore House”. Paul Robeson’s brother lived at the end of Ridge Street. Rev. Dr. Thomas Kilgore and sister Melissa lived at “Mama’s house while they attended Stephens Lee High School. In Harlem, U.S.A., Alma met Blake & Sissle in grammar school PS157, lived around the corner from Charles Rangel, marched with Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and more.
Alma Carroll has lived in Bedford Stuyvesant for fifty seven years. You would think that she was a native, when she lists all the great community leaders of the sixties and the wonderful accomplishments of those years. How proud Ms. Carroll is to have worked with people like Herbert Von King who founded The Bedford Stuyvesant Interagency Council Of The Aging. Ms. Carroll is delighted to have served as president since 1991. Aunt Hattie Carthan was a senior when she organized the Bedford-Stuyvesant Beautification Association. Alma Carroll carried on Ms. Carthans, work as President of the Association and Board member of the Magnolia Tree Earth Center.
Alma carried on the work of Ms. Almira Coursey as president of the Tompkins Park Recreational and Cultural Association which houses the Eubie Blake Theater.
Ms. Carroll serves as President Emeritus of the Pulaski St.- Nostrand Ave Block Association that she started in 1967 and headed until three years ago. Over the years she has served as Founder and President of the “Friends of the Marcy branch Library” as well as the President of the “Sumner Armory Council” – the 2nd largest in New York State.
For years Ms. Carroll hosted tours of Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights prior to the convening of the “Annual Conference of Christians and Jews.” Over the years she also served for 16 years as the President of the “79th Precinct Community Council”.
She served on the “Central Brooklyn Coordinating Council” and ran the “79th Precinct Summer Feeding Program for Youth”. Along her way she, working with others and was able to save the opposite side of her block from imminent demolition by the city. She also worked with “Model Cities” and served on a planning committee that helped to bring “Woodhull hospital” to the area.
In 1999, Ms. Carroll founded the “Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium”, that among its many venues, provides thirty straight days of jazz venues each spring and in the past few years, has expanded coordinating events and a Festival with South Africa. She served as the organizations President until a few years ago.
For decades Ms. Carroll has spent countless hours traveling to Albany to defend the rights of seniors in the city and state, on critical issues such as healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, nutrition and crime and safety.
Among her most precious thoughts and memories, Alma Carroll loves having worked with and being mentored by GIANTS of Bed-Stuy.,such as Almira Coursey, Elsie Richardson and Herbert Von King among others.
Most importantly, Ms. Carroll and the world renowned Jazz singer, Joe Carroll founded the Jazzpazazz Preservation Society before his death. Today, Ms. Carroll had annually produced The Billie Holiday Jazz Festival (a series of Jazz venues around Brooklyn) honoring colleagues of the forties and fifties, that is, until it became part of the “Central.Brooklyn Jazz Consortium”. The Annual Sagittarius Ball celebrates the birthdays of Alma Carroll, Joe Carroll, Etta Jones and a host of other Sagittarians.
Alma Carroll is the mother of three children: Elliott (“Skipp”) – Loyce and Juanita, three grand Children, Loyce Melodee – Danier – Divin and two great grand children, Jazmin and Danier Jr.