Dr. Mark Naison, Professor of African & African American Studies and History at Fordham University,is the author of seven 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 undergraduate and graduate courses around the nation.
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, published by Fordham University Press in September 2016, is Before the Fires, An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. This book is one of the featured readings in a new course offered by Dr. Naison at Fordham entitled “The Bronx: Immigration, Race and Culture.”
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 20 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 and a housing complex with historic significance, as well as the founding of a cultural center honoring the Bronx’s musical heritage. The research of the BAAHP will be the basis of Dr. Naison's eighth book, Boogie Down Legacies: Essays on the Bronx's Contribution to Global Popular Music which will be published by Fordham University Press in the spring of 2023.
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.
In addition to his scholarship, Dr Naison has done extensive news commentary on outlets as diverse as ABC, CNN, New York 1, Fox News, and Fox Business, has appeared on the O’Reilly Factor, and entered the world of comedy with a much publicized appearance on the Chappelle Show. His courses have been regularly covered on Bronx 12 News and were recently featured in a Daily News article on the most poplar college courses in New York City.