Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York


Ray Allen  

Interviewee: Ray Allen
Interviewers: Dr. Mark Naison
Date of Interview June 29 ????
Summary by Christian Rivera

Ray Allen is an actor, singer, and an organizer of theater & education programs in the Bronx. He was born in the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. He first came to the Bronx on December 9th 1968 and moved to Boston Road. Allen's great aunt & uncle were the first African Americans to have an apartment on that section of Boston Road.

Allen's love of music and acting started in Curacao when he sang in glee clubs. While taking a music appreciation course at James Monroe high school in the Bronx, Michael Don (the music teacher) encouraged him to pursue music. Allen auditioned for the All-City high school chorus and participated in the annual concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln center. In 1969, he joined the Concrete choir of New York City and the Youth ambassadors of New York City. The choir sang at Gracie mansion, Wall of Astoria, and City hall. Furthermore, he collaborated with Coleridge Taylor Perkinson and sang backup chorus for the Mandroe. Allen also took acting classes at the Double Image Theater with Helen Mayor.
While living in Morrisania, Allen experienced the presence of the Black Panther party on Boston Road. Jamall Joesph, Leroy Jones and Ed Bullins took part in the movement. Aside from the Black Panther movement, Ray Allen comments on the influx of Caribbean peoples to Morrisania,.

Key Words: Morrisania, John Markley, Anguilla, Ethnicity, Black Panther Party, Coleridge Taylor Parker, Multiculturalism, John Richardson, Caribbean, Double Image theater, Michael Don, Jamall Joesph, Leroy Jones, Ed Bullins, Gracie Mansion, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Helen Mayor, Conrete choir of New York City, Youth ambassadors of New York City, Mandroe , James Monroe high school, Boston Road


© 2009 Bronx African-American History Project at Fordham University

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