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Mark Naison

Mark Naison

Professor of History and African American Studies
Dealy Hall 640
Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus

Phone: 718-817-3748


1976 PhD, American History, Columbia University awarded January 1976. "The Communist Party in Harlem, 1928-1936."

1967 MA, American History, Columbia University, awarded June 1967. "The Decline of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, 1937-1939."

1966 BA American History, Columbia College, awarded  June 1966.


African American History 20th Century


From Rock and Roll to Hip Hop: Urban Youth Cultures in Post War America


Mark Naison is Professor of History and African American Studies at Fordham University. A recipient of a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University, he is the author of six books and over 300 articles on African American politics, labor history, popular culture and education policy. His first book, Communists in Harlem in the Depression, published in 1983, is still in print, and is used in graduate courses around the nation. Dr. Naison is the founder of the Bronx African American History Project, one of the largest community based oral history projects in the nation and has brought his research into more than 30 Bronx schools, as well as Bronx based cultural organizations and NGO’s. In recent years, the BAAHP’s research has led to granting landmark status to several streets with historic significance, as well as the founding of a cultural center honoring the Bronx’s musical heritage. A co-founder of the Bronx Berlin Youth exchange, Naison has published articles about Bronx music and Bronx culture in German, Spanish, Catalan, and Portuguese as well as English, and given talks about these subjects in Germany, Spain and Italy. He recently published a novel, Pure Bronx, co-written with his former student Melissa Castillo-Garsow, and a book of essays on educational policy and Bronx history, Badass Teachers Unite. His seventh book, just published by Fordham University Press in September 2016, is Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s. This book is one of the featured readings in a new course offered by Dr. Naison at Fordham in Fall 2016 entitled “The Bronx: Immigration, Race and Culture.” He has also been featured on many news programs, the O'Reilly Factor, and the Chappelle Show, where his performance was satirized by Louis CK on Saturday Night Live.

Selected Publications

White Boy: A Memoir

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: Growing Up in the Patterson Houses in the 1950's- An Interview With Victoria Archibald Good

From Doo Wop to Hip Hop: The Bittersweet Odyssey of African Americans in the South Bronx