In their book What the Signs Say: Language, Gentrification, and Place-Making in Brooklyn, sociolinguist Shonna Trinch and anthropologist Edward Snajdr explore how changes in the look and language of New York City’s storefronts signal a gentrifying neighborhood. You can join the authors for a wide-ranging discussion moderated by Untapped New York’s founder Michelle Young! The talk will cover “old-school signage,” “new-school signage,” and how storefront design intersects with class and race.

What Signs Say Book CoverCourtesy of the authors

The authors will be joined by Cynthia Gordy Giwa and Tayo Giwa, founders of Black-Owned Brooklyn and Peter Robinson professor of urban theory and architecture at Parsons School of Design and a Board Member of BlackSpace Urbanist Collective. This two-part series, What Signs Say, is hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society. The second discussion will be held on March 25th, when panelists will talk about how streetscapes reflect activism and nostalgia.

You can join the first virtual talk in this series on Tuesday, February 23rd! You can also gain access to unlimited free virtual events per month and unlock a video archive of past events as an Untapped New York Insider starting at $10/month.
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Next, check out Inside the MTA Transit Sign Shop That Makes All of NYC’s Subway Signage and Rogue Signs Reveal Hidden History of Washington Heights