Brooklyn native Jitu K. Weusi has been an educator in the social sciences and a community activist since 1962. He is active in the New York political scene, and an activist for the community control of schools. Jitu K. Weusi is a charter member of the National Black United Front.
Jazz enthusiast and retired educator Jitu K. Weusi has a long history of combining music, social activism and history to make the lives of the people around him better.
The 70-year-old voluntarily serves as chair of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium, a position he’s held for the last 10 years. Weusi is a jazz researcher, writer and collector of jazz memorabilia.
His background is not only in the study of music. He can also be credited for being a driving force during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and pillar in New York City public schools for empowering Black youth by educating them about their history.
Weusi was born in BedStuy, Brooklyn, where he’s lived all his life. He said living in Brooklyn allows him to enjoy a “semi-country” spirit.
“Brooklynites get to run on the weekends, but from Monday to Sunday, we are grounded,” he said. “We are home early and we go to bed early.”
At age 12, Weusi said he got into jazz music while working at a newsstand at Fulton and Franklin streets across from a record store called Sam the Record Man. There, he became musically enthralled with an audio education from musicians like Charlie Parker and Art Blakely.
“In those days, music wasn’t so segregated,” he said. “Sam would play everything from rhythm and blues to jazz. It was a great experience for me”.
Jitu Weusi is truly a face of Brooklyn.