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Mark D. Naison

Mark Naison

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

Phone: 718-817-3748
Email: [email protected]



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 African American Studies at Fordham University. He is the author of seven books and over 300 articles on African American politics, labor history, popular culture and education policy. 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 many Bronx based non profits and cultural centers. A co-founder of the Bronx Berlin Youth exchange, Naison’s articles about Bronx music and Bronx culture have been published in German, Spanish, Catalan, and Portuguese as well as English. In recent years he, has has published a novel, Pure Bronx, co-written with his former student Melissa Castillo-Garsow, a book of essays entitled Badass Teachers Unite and a collection of oral histories entitled Before the Fires, An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. which is one of the featured readings in a course he teaches at Fordham called "The Bronx: Immigration Race and Culture," His first book "Communists in Harlem During the Depression," published in 1983, is still in print and is used in graduate courses around the nation. In addition to his teaching, Dr Naison leads tours of the Bronx for students and faculty at Fordham, as well as for groups of scholars and activists from around the nation and around the world. He also publishes a blog, which can be accessed at, and has founded several Facebook groups, the most popular of which are the Badass Teachers Association and the National Anti-Racism AllIance. His course "From Rock and Roll To Hip Hop" was featured in the New York Post as one of the most popular courses in New York city in 2019.

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

In the News

"Deporting Children and Families" 6.27.19

"The Multiracial Bronx: A Unique Cultural Incubator in Post War America" 5.9.19

"The Bronx: A Prose Poem" 4.1.19

"Fordham Road Reflections" 3.14.19

"Italian Americans in Bronx Doo Wop: The Glory and the Paradox" 2.13.19

"Teachers Rising!" 4.5.18

"Advice for Student Activist: It's A Marathon, Not A Sprint" 3.23.18

"Morrisania: The Birthplace of Hip Hop" Anthony Bourdain - Places Unknown, 8.3.17

"Tony Guida's New York: Mark Naison" CUNY TV, 4.19.17

"Why Hip Hop Began in the Bronx" C-SPAN, 3.24.17

"As South Bronx Became Symbol of Urban Blight, Northeast Bronx Became Refuge for Middle-Class Blacks." NY1, 2.24.17

"Bronx Commons to showcase a music venue.", 1.26.17

"In Home of Hip Hop, a Concert Hall to Honor Its Musical History." The New York Times, 1.16.17

"How the Bronx Gave Us Hip Hop.", 11.21.16

"This is what 'whitelash' looks like." CNN, 11.11.16

"Dallas Cowboys give welcome rise to a different 'D' vs. 'R' debate." The Dallas Morning News, 10.31.16

"Recaptured Time in the South Bronx," WNYC, 10.10.16

“JAZZ NOTES: Hope Way, Green Film, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sistas’,” New York Amsterdam News, 9.16.16

“What makes America ‘exceptional’? Clinton and Trump trade places (+video),” The Christian Science Monitor, 9.1.16

“Does a New Netflix Series ‘Get it Down’ in its Portrayal of the Bronx?” WNYC, 8.18.16

“David Schwimmer’s ‘Feed The Beast’ Tackles South Bronx Gentrification Amid Heated Debate,” International Business Time, 6.5.16

“Prospects for the Next President Keeping John B. King Jr. as Education Secretary,” Education Week, 3.22.16

“Professor: Why I am ‘incredibly pessimistic’ about the future of public education,” The Washington Post, 3.11.16

“For Black Lives Matter, MLK’s kind of activism isn’t the only way,” The Christian Science Monitor, 1.18.16

“Is racism on the rise? More in U.S. say it’s a ‘big problem,’ CNN/KFF poll finds,” CNN, 11.24.15

“The People United,” Huffington Post, 11.9.15

“Fordham to Offer Course on The Bronx in Wake of On-Campus Racial Incidents,”, 11.6.15

“How we can honor a Bronx jazz great,” am New York, 10.21.15