Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Latest News

Community Research Methods Class Trains Fordham Students to Conduct Oral Histories
February 2, 2012
Dr. LaBennett’s Community Research Methods: Oral History class has placed eleven Fordham undergrads in volunteer positions at the following Bronx organizations: WHEDco, RDAC-BX and St. Stephen’s Church. With help from Fordham’s Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice, these students will collaborate with community partners, working as volunteers and recording oral histories. The students’ oral histories will inform final research papers and become part of the BAAHP database.

Dr. Jane Kani Edward on African Hair Braiding
January 2012
"More than Hair Braiding" was published in the African Trumpet newspaper, Editions 25. Read the article here.  


There's a Growing Demand at Fordham University for teaching 'Twi,' A West African Language
January 16, 2011
Fordham becomes the first university to offer a course in Twi, a West African Language. Dr.
Naison called the Twi course a win-win - a chance for Fordham students to learn about Ghana and immigrants to access the Bronx university. Read Daily News article by Daniel Beekman here.

Dr. Mark Naison featured on "Bronxtalk" November 29, 2010

Book Review: The Rat That Got Away
Allen Jones’ story is the type of inspirational, “coming of age” account that inner-city teachers, youth workers, and scholars clamor for. From growing up poor in the South Bronx’s Paterson housing projects, Jones finds economic and social success in Europe. A well-known New York City schoolboy street basketball standout, in adulthood he transitions into an accomplished German banker. And after several years as a local drug dealer, and participating in the emerging gangster culture of the late 1960’s, Allen shifts his attention back to the moral foundations that were central to his childhood: family and=2 0ch urch. The events of Allen Jones’ life point to20redemptive possibilities that can be achieved in spite of early life mistakes and obstacles. In this way, knowing who he is, can help today’s young people know who they can be. More >>

The Rat That Got Away
Allen Jones grew up in the projects in one of the nation's most famously tough neighborhoods, dealt drugs, went to prison, went to prep school, and played European pro basketball...and now he's a banker in Luxembourg. His memoir, co-written with Fordham professor Mark Naison, is forthcoming from Fordham University Press--we talk with Naison about Jones' strange life trajectory, the early day's of NYC public housing, and the massive importance of schoolyard basketball.  Listen now (mp3) >>

Hilton White- Great Coach and Recreation Leader Who Changed the Face of College Basketball to be Honored at Renaming Ceremony, August 1, 2009 at Caldwell Park and Playground.
On August 1, 2009, at 11 AM, at 163 Street and Caldwell Avenue, educators, former basketball greats, elected officials and residents of the Morrisania community will be coming together to honor  Hilton White, one of the Bronx’s true heroes, by renaming Caldwell Park and Playground “Hilton White Park and Playground” and Caldwell Avenue between 161  and 163 street “Hilton White Way”.  More >>

Saluting Those Who Fought Racial Discrimination on the Ground Level
The civil rights movement is well documented, especially incidents involving leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. Thanks to the work of Brian Purnell, Ph.D., assistant professor of African American studies, some of that era’s lesser-known heroes are getting their due. More >>

Women Artists Work to Realign Hip Hop Image
It has been three decades since hip-hop was born in the Bronx, but the popular musical form and its attending culture thrives primarily as an institution of power and privilege for men. That was the consensus of a panel of Bronx-based female hip-hop artists and writers who spoke at on Jan. 22 as part of the Bronx is Building lecture series at Fordham. More >>

"This is My America"
The following video "This is My America" beautifully captures the spirit of the BAAHP's new research initiative exploring African immigration to the Bronx. Written by Chosan, a poet, rapper and designer born in Sierra Leone, the song, taken from Chosan's new CD "Diamonds in the Dirt" depicts the struggles immigrants face in trying to make a home in the United States. The chorus of the song - "struggle, hustle and stress - this is my America" - echoes the stories told to us by so many African immigrants of working two and three jobs to support families here and back home, of living in crowded and stress-filled conditions, and going through incredible hardships to gain legal status. Like the BAAHP's African Immigration Project, Chosan's video and CD give voice to an extraordinary group of people whose struggles and accomplishments have been invisible for too long. If you want to purchase Chosan's new CD "Diamonds in the Dirt" you may do so through the album website:

BAAHP community research assistant, Omar Jawo featured in Channel 12 news coverage of absenteeism at PS 55 in the Bronx.

The Study of African Immigration in the Bronx

The Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP), with its focus on African immigration seeks to examine the situation of African immigrants in the Bronx with an aim of capturing their complex and varied experiences in the United States of America in general, and the Bronx in particular. Using Oral History research method, the project analyzes the social, cultural, economic and historical aspects of African immigrants living in the Bronx. Our goal is to provide insights into the immigrants’ differentiated lived experiences, and their social, cultural and economic institutions.  Rather than simply assessing the needs and challenges of African immigrants, this project adds a new dimension to the growing scholarship on African immigration to the United States by analyzing the social, cultural, economic and intellectual contributions that African immigrants make to their host society, including the linkages they build between localcommunities in America and Africa.

Learn more and join the project here.

BAAHP Receives Donation From Local Developers, PA Associates

BAAHP receives Donation
L to R: Natasha Lightfoot, Brian Purnell, Aaron Malinsky, Mark Naison, Paul Slayton

In July 2007, local developers, Aaron Malinsky and Paul Slayton, made a generous donation to the Bronx African American History Project.
For more information on Major Donors to the Bronx African American History Project, click here.

Past News

The Bronx African American History Project Receives Grant to Conduct Archival Survey!

Click here to read full story, meet the archival staff and find out how you can help.

The Bronx County Historical Society's Museum of Bronx History launches two exhibits on this history of people of African descent in the Bronx!

June 14th, 2005, 6-8 PM
Making History: The Story of The Bronx African-American History Project

75 Varick Street, Student Lounge, 12th Floor

Monday, May 2, 2005, 6-8 PM
"The Bronx is a Bomb, and It's Ready to Explode!"

The White Castle Protests and the Civil Rights Movement in
New York City, Summer 1963

Brian Purnell, Research Director of The Bronx African American History Project, delivers the annual, public Gouvernor Morris Lecture of the Bronx County Historical Society

Interview with Brian Purnell
from Fordham Conversations on WFUV (90.7 FM and WFUV.ORG)

Listen Now! (requires Windows Media Player)

February 14, 2004
Radio broadcast about BAAHP
Fordham Conversations on WFUV (90.7 FM and WFUV.ORG)

Listen Now! (requires Windows Media Player)

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