Bronx African American History Project
Capturing the History of African Americans in the Bronx
The Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP) is dedicated to uncovering the cultural, political, economic, and religious histories of the more than 500,000 people of African descent in the Bronx.
The Bronx COVID-19 Oral History Project
In 2020, shortly after the pandemic first hit, a group of student researchers and faculty from the Bronx African American History Project started an oral history project specifically focused on stories of the resilience and heroism of Bronx natives during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The students and faculty who started the Bronx COVID-19 Oral History Project have conducted over 20 interviews and highlighted Bronx small businesses.
Oral Histories Digital Archive Open to the Public
We have captured the stories of hundreds of Bronx African Americans who have transformed the borough’s character since the 1930s. Consisting of downloadable audio files and verbatim transcripts of interviews conducted from 2002 to 2013, they are available to the public in a new digital archive.
Scholarship and Community
We hope our work will be of use to scholars, students, teachers, public historians, and museum curators who are doing research on people of African descent in New York City or general scholarship on the social development of 20th century American cities. We continue to identify, preserve, catalog, and make accessible archival record collections relating to the history of people of African descent in The Bronx.
We also produce scholarly publications and teaching tools that contribute to the fields of African American studies, African diaspora studies, Urban History, and Sociology.
By building partnerships between Fordham University, the Bronx County Historical Society, and African American and Latino community leaders, ministers, citizens, and elected officials from around the city and especially in the Bronx, we strive to bring to life the rich history of our borough.
As Hip-Hop Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary, Fordham Helps Preserve Its Legacy
Fifty years ago, a new art form burst forth on the streets of the Bronx, born from rich musical traditions and a spirit of innovation in neighborhoods of color ravaged by deindustrialization and written off by most of the country. In the ensuing decades, the Fordham community has not only studied and celebrated hip-hop, it [...]
Fordham’s Bronx African American History Project Attracts Scholars Worldwide
Online visitors from more than 70 countries have accessed Fordham’s Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP), an extensive archive of essays and interviews with African Americans who have made the Bronx their home. “We had downloads from Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the same day—two countries at war with one another,” said Mark Naison, [...]
Students Work with Bronxites to Paint Community Mural
Fordham students and Bronx residents are working together to create an Earth Day mural at an after-school center for underserved youth a block away from the Rose Hill campus. “We’re working on having our students understand that what goes on outside is community. It’s love. It’s history,” said Lisa Preti, an assistant director in student [...]
Bronx History Makers Rewrite the Narrative
First, there was redlining, then there were the fires, and now, inevitably, there’s gentrification. But there was also bebop, bachata, salsa, and hip-hop. And today the borough serves up cuisine from Italy, Albania, the Caribbean, and Ghana. The Bronx has seen it all. Yet too frequently, it’s the fires that outsiders remember and the poverty [...]
Bronx African American History Project Gives Voice to People Affected by COVID-19
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York in March, student researchers with Fordham’s Bronx African American History Project saw an opportunity to document history as it happened and give voice to their neighbors. “It was more important than ever to capture these stories, because the Bronx was probably one of most hard-hit boroughs out of [...]
Bronx Italian American History Initiative Shares Personal Stories in New Social Media Campaign
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bronx Italian American History Initiative has created a new social media campaign that shares Humans of New York-style stories about Italian and Italian American residents of the Bronx. “The idea is to inspire people to stay home, but also get to know more about the community that they’re [...]
Fordham’s Largest Scholarship Fund: A Half-Century of Changing Lives
As a Fordham undergraduate in the late 1990s, Brian Purnell was focused on his studies but also on his parents—specifically, the debts they had incurred to pay for his education. “Making college … not too onerous of a financial burden on my parents was a priority for me,” he said. Then, in sophomore year, one [...]
Frederick J. Brown Tribute Fills McGinley Ballroom with Art and Music
It may be located squarely in the Bronx, but for a few hours on a recent Saturday night, Fordham’s McGinley Ballroom was transformed to a 1980s SoHo art loft. The event, 120 Wooster St: A Celebration of the Life and Career of Frederick J. Brown, showcased art, jazz, diversity, and, most of all, a wonderful sense [...]
Cultural Groups Bring Live Music and Dance to Campus on Bronx Celebration Day
At the second annual Bronx Celebration Day on April 21, a Mexican folk dance troupe, Marzarte Dance Company, held hands with Fordham students and local residents for an energetic chain dance around the Walsh Lot of the Rose Hill campus. Folklorist and choreographer Martha Nora Zarate-Alvarez, who heads the Bronx-based ensemble, said the group’s lively [...]
Second Annual Bronx Celebration Day Brings Local Music and Art to Campus
The Bronx is something Fordham celebrates every day; it’s the home of the University’s first campus. It’s also a vibrant borough full of wonderful people with a rich history that is integral to New York City. To honor Fordham’s Bronx connection, the University will host its Second Annual Bronx Celebration Day on Saturday, April 21, with [...]
European Scholars Tap Fordham’s Bronx African American History Project
Archives are dusty old documents that live in a cool dry vault, right? Wrong. When it comes to the digital humanities, like oral histories, they are archives that often live online. In the case of the Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP), the archives have begun to reach beyond the streets of the Bronx to [...]