Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Muraline Edwards


Muraline Edwards 

IntInterviewee: Muraline Edwards
Interviewers: Dr. Brian Purnell and Natasha Lightfoot
Date: May 1, 2007
Summarized by Alice Stryker

Muraline Edwards spent all of her childhood in the Bronx, living in many different neighborhoods and attending many different schools. Although some sections of the Bronx were racially mixed, others were predominately white. When she lived in these areas she remembered feeling racial tensions. She especially remembers feeling this racial tension at P.S. 135, which was a mixed school.
She attended Theodore Roosevelt for High School in the early 1980s.  Although she herself was not involved with drugs or serious crime, both her friends and many other students at the time were. While attending Roosevelt she lived on 188th right off of Fordham Road. She remembers not being able to go to Arthur Avenue because of the racial tensions between Italians and Blacks. She also describes the “gangs” that were active in Theodore Roosevelt as well as in the Junior High School she attended. She describes these groups not so much as gangs, but more a social organizations.
When she was growing up, rap was really a developing art form. Many of her friends were DJ’s and she was an aspiring rapper. She got her name from the alphabets associated with the Five Percenters: MC JAMEL Justice, Allah, Master, Equality, Love. Her cousin and many of her friends used to perform at the Prospect Avenue Burger King as well as the Fever. She also describes the fashions that were popular at this time.
After high school, she attended college at Manhattanville College. This was a very big transition for her. This college was almost completely white, which was very different from Theodore Roosevelt.  It was during this time that she became interested in joining the ministry. It was also during her college years when she first got involved with the NAACP.
After she graduated, she became more involved with the NAACP, initially with their get out the vote campaigns. Shrotly there after she got elected to the school board in District 11.  This was a very powerful school board.  She then begins to give a detailed account of her work on the school board and in different community activist organizations.

Keywords: Boston Road, P.S. 135, bussing, Fountain Spring Baptist Church, Miracle Provider Church, 188th street, Fordham Road, Theodore Roosevelt  High School, Arthur Avenue, racial tension, Zulu Nation, Five Percenters, MC Jamel, Prospect Avenue Burget King, Bronx Fires,  Manhattanville College, Unity Baptist Chruch, NAACP,


© 2009 Bronx African-American History Project at Fordham University

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