The Bronx African American History Project

The Bronx African American History Project Our Mission The Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP) is dedicated to uncovering the cultural, political, economic, and religious histories ofthe more than 500,000 people of African descent in the Bronx.
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05/03/2019
11/20/2018
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Seven Reasons Why You Should Contribute to the Bronx African American History Project on "Giving Tuesday"

1. The BAAHP brings world class musicians to perform at Fordham at events that are free and open to the community, jazz artists like Valerie Capers, Judy Carmichael, Bertha Hope and Jimmy Owens, and Hip Hop Artists like Akua Naru and Rebel Diaz.

2. The BAAHP organizes lectures and forums that highlight the contribution of recent immigrants to the development of the Bronx and New York City, and organizes legal defense forums to help immigrants and immigrant communities under attack.

3. The BAAHP organizes walking tours of historic Bronx neighborhoods, and does food tours to highlight the great food in the Bronx's ethnic neighborhoods.

4, The BAAHP sponsors global collaborations with scholars, social workers and performing artists in Germany and more recently, in Ghana

5. The BAAHP not only conducts oral histories which highlight the contribution of people of African descent to the development of Bronx communities, it has helped start oral history projects which do the same for Italian American, LatinX and Irish American residents of the Bronx

6. The BAAHP has done pioneering research on the African Immigrant Communities of the Bronx and organizes conferences, lectures and forums to make sure the residents and leaders of those communities get maximum exposure to elected officials as well as University students and University based scholars.

7. The BAAHP does programs in Bronx schools which encourage the use of community history as a tool to promote student engagement, and pushes for the restoration of sports programs and arts programs that were once a fixture in Bronx schools in the 1950's and 1960's

If you think some, or all of these activities are important, please contribute. Here's how!

Make a check out to the "Bronx African American History Project" and send it to
BAAHP
641 Dealy Hall
Fordham University
Bronx, NY 10458

or with a credit card, use this link

https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1362/18/interior-wide.aspx…

No donation is too small! A large number of small and medium donations show how deep the BAAHP's support is among Fordham alumni, students and staff, and lovers of the Bronx

Thanks

Dr Mark Naison

Want to Build a Stronger Connection Between Fordham and the Bronx?  Support the Bronx African American History ProjectTh...
10/23/2018
Give

Want to Build a Stronger Connection Between Fordham and the Bronx? Support the Bronx African American History Project

The Bronx African American History Project has become the most powerful force at Fordham linking the University and its students to the people and communities of the Bronx. It has partnerships with Bronx schools and cultural organizations, brings Bronx musicians and community leaders to perform and speak at Fordham, and organizes events, on campus and off, to defend immigrant communities which are under attack. It also does oral histories which recapture the atmosphere of Bronx neighborhoods that existed 50 years ago, as well as highlighting the dynamism of Bronx communities today. To that end, it has helped create a Bronx Italian American History Initiative and a Bronx LatinX Oral History Archive, and is in the process of creating a Bronx Irish American History Project in association with the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.. It also does neighborhood tours for Fordham students, faculty and staff, lets Fordham people know about great Bronx restaurants shopping districts and cultural resources, and invites Bronx residents to attend all events it sponsors on campus free of charge

If you want to help break down barriers separating Fordham from its Bronx neighbors, bring Bronx music and culture onto the Fordham campus and encourage Fordham students to explore the Bronx both through classes and student activities, there no better way to do this than donating to the Bronx African American History Project

Here's How To Donate

Make a check out to the "Bronx African American History Project" and send it to
BAAHP
641 Dealy Hall
Fordham University
Bronx, NY 10458

or with a credit card, use this link

https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1362/18/interior-wide.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=603&cid=1881&bledit=1&dids=281

No donation is too small! A large number of small and medium donations show how deep the BAAHP's support is among Fordham alumni, students and staff, and lovers of the Bronx

If your employer appears in the search tool results, please review the process and specifics on how matching gifts are conducted by the company.

Want to Build a Stronger Connection Between Fordham and the Bronx?  Support the Bronx African American History ProjectTh...
10/23/2018
Give

Want to Build a Stronger Connection Between Fordham and the Bronx? Support the Bronx African American History Project

The Bronx African American History Project has become the most powerful force at Fordham linking the University and its students to the people and communities of the Bronx. It has partnerships with Bronx schools and cultural organizations, brings Bronx musicians and community leaders to perform and speak at Fordham, and organizes events, on campus and off, to defend immigrant communities which are under attack. It also does oral histories which recapture the atmosphere of Bronx neighborhoods that existed 50 years ago, as well as highlighting the dynamism of Bronx communities today. To that end, it has helped create a Bronx Italian American History Initiative and a Bronx LatinX Oral History Archive, and is in the process of creating a Bronx Irish American History Project in association with the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.. It also does neighborhood tours for Fordham students, faculty and staff, lets Fordham people know about great Bronx restaurants shopping districts and cultural resources, and invites Bronx residents to attend all events it sponsors on campus free of charge

If you want to help break down barriers separating Fordham from its Bronx neighbors, bring Bronx music and culture onto the Fordham campus and encourage Fordham students to explore the Bronx both through classes and student activities, there no better way to do this than donating to the Bronx African American History Project

Here's How To Donate

Make a check out to the "Bronx African American History Project" and send it to
BAAHP
641 Dealy Hall
Fordham University
Bronx, NY 10458

or with a credit card, use this link

https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1362/18/interior-wide.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=603&cid=1881&bledit=1&dids=281

No donation is too small! A large number of small and medium donations show how deep the BAAHP's support is among Fordham alumni, students and staff, and lovers of the Bronx

If your employer appears in the search tool results, please review the process and specifics on how matching gifts are conducted by the company.

07/13/2018

Tribute to a Great Bronx Teacher on His 80th Birthday:

Hi, this is Dr Mark Naison of Fordham University, When I look back on a career that has spanned nearly 50 years of University teaching, I view Jim Pruitt as one of the ten most impressive educators I have encountered at any level of our educational system. He had a tremendous influence on me when I arrived to teach at Fordham in 1970, and played a central role in providing intellectual guidance to the research project I direct, the Bronx African American History Project, which began in 2003 and has become one of the most respected community based oral history project in the nation

Shortly after I arrived at Fordham in the fall of 1970 to teach in the Institute of Afro American Studies, Jim was appointed the director of Fordham Upward Bound Program, which had offices across the hall. I quickly saw that he was a force in our Department as well as his own. A tall imposing person, dignified in carriage, precise in speech, knowledgeable about history, passionate about justice, Jim had a profound influence on the Black and Latino young men in his care. Here was someone from the same communities they lived in, who shared their feelings and understood their world, who commanded the respect of powerful white people, from college administrators to faculty to security officials through depth of intellect and force of character. His Upward Bound Students not only listened to him, they watched him carefully, and over time, began to model themselves on him. Thus began the shaping of a new generation of Black and Latino leaders, people who would make an impact on many walks of life from education, to business and the arts. Jim was at Fordham for less than ten years, but he is still in touch with many of the now not-so young people in his charge. I have rarely seen a teacher/mentor command such reverence, and have such influence, on a groups of men from inner city neighborhoods

Now segue to the year 2003 when community leaders asked me to start an oral history project documenting the experience and achievements of African Americans in the Bronx. The Bronx African American History Project, as the initiative was called, began with oral histories of Black women and men who had lived in the Patterson Houses near Lincoln Hospital, but soon began to focus on the largest Black community in the Bronx in the 1940's 1950's and 1960's Morrisaniia. I had know that Jim had grown up in that neighborhood and that member of his family still loved there so I called him for advice. It was the best decision I had ever made. Jim not only introduced me to his brilliant sister, Harriet McFeeters, who still lived with her sister Bessie in a row house on East 168th Street, he provided the crucial intellectual framework for understanding the middle class Black community that emerged in Morrisania

Jim explained the path that took Black postal workers and Pullman porters from churches in Harlem like Grace Congregational to an exciting new community in the Bronx. But he also identified key institutions which became the basis of that community as it emerged- St Augustine Presbyterian Church, Forest House, Camp Minisink and Morris High School. Armed with this knowledge, we started recording what ultimately became more than 100 interviews with Black residents of Morrisania, all of which have been transcribed, archived and digitized. People from all over the world consult these interviews, many of which were recommended by Jim and Harriet

So happy 80th Birthday Jim Pruiit. You have truly been an educator who changed the course of history

04/10/2018
Very important article on a Bronx based photographer and activist, Kwame Braithwaite, who along his two brothers Elombe ...
04/07/2018
An Artist’s Ornate Natural Hair Styles, Through the Eyes of a Legendary Photographer of Black Beauty

Very important article on a Bronx based photographer and activist, Kwame Braithwaite, who along his two brothers Elombe Brath and John Braithwaite and graphic artist Bob Gumbs was responsible for promoting the natural hair style as a cultural statement in pageants held in Harlem in the early 1960's HT to John Braithwaite

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/an-artists-ornate-natural-hair-styles-through-the-eyes-of-a-legendary-photographer-of-black-beauty?mbid=social_facebook

The artist Joanne Petit-Frère sits for a portrait with Kwame Brathwaite, the eighty-year-old photographer of the “Black Is Beautiful” movement.

03/11/2018

Stereotypes of Islam Shattered at the "Young African Immigrant Voices" Panel at Fordham

Anyone who thinks immigrants from Muslim countries are here to wage war on Christianity, or that Islam is a "terrorist religion" would have left yesterday's "Young African Immigrant Voices" Panel at Fodham with their belief system shaken to the core.

On the outside, the panel looked like White Conservative America's worst nightmare. Five of the seven young women on the panel wore hijab's and both of the men, and one of the women had "Muhammed" in their names

But once they started speaking, every stereotype started to shatter. One young woman, a recent immigrant from Ghana who attended Kappa International HS across the street from Fordham., wore an Army ROTC shirt along with her hijab and spoke how much she loved the military and of her plans to pursue a career in the US Armed Forces.

One of the men on the panel, an artist and teacher whose work promoting peace and gender equality has taken him all over the world, spoke of how his father, an Iman in Ghana, sent him to a Catholic boarding school, allowing him to sing all the same songs as his Christian friends and endowing him with a lifelong commitment to bringing people of different nationalities and faiths together

A young women recently arrived from from Nigeria, now a student leader at Lehman College in the Bronx, spoke of how her Muslim faith did not separate her from her Christian siblings and spoke proudly of her family as a model of mutual understanding between people of different faiths

And finally three of the elders in the group, two Muslim, one Christian, who had worked for groups ranging from the Mayor's Office, to the City Commission on Human Rights, to the offices of Bronx City Council members and Congressman Serrano, spoke of how you could not work effectively in the African Immigrant communities of the Bronx by dividing people along religions lines- that Christians and Muslims faced the same issues and lived and worked in harmony,.

On a panel that was diverse in age and experience as well as religion- there was not a single moment where anyone spoke critically of people of other faiths. And when people spoke of their own religious background, they invoked that tradition as something which promoted peace and the building of strong families and communities.

At a time when fear of immigrants, and of Muslims, is being promoted in the highest places, the Bronx African American History Project provided an extremely valuable counterweight to misinformation and hysteria

Special thanks must be given to the organizer of this panel,Dr Jane Edward, a brilliant scholar brought up Christian in South Sudan, who has worked closely with the African Islamic Community of the Bronx since her arrival at Fordham ten years ago, and has won their respect through her writing, speaking and advocacy.

The young people she brought together exemplified, for all who wanted to see it, the promise of an American future where people of all faiths, and nations and values live together in harmony and mutual understanding

03/10/2018

Willie Thomas’s Story- Redemption, Recovery and the Mission of Community History

Every life is precious; even the most wounded of people can be redeemed. You can say these things as spiritual pronouncements, but to see them brought to life is a rare privilege. Every person who was part of yesterday’s oral history interview with Willie Thomas came away with their sense of human possibility expanded. Here was someone who had inflicted and endured unimaginable suffering, who had spent 29 years behind bars, at first seething with rage, then devoting himself to restoration and recovery, who emerged filled with a passion to help young people in trouble. It was not just the content of the story he told that moved us, it was the aura he emanated. He literally glowed with light and love. And you could see how young people who refused to let anyone else in would trust him. And how they could use his example as inspiration for their own restoration and recovery

Everyone in that room when Willie Thomas spoke felt uplifted by his presence. Inevitably, we thought about the price we pay when we write off people who have been hurt or who injure others. Yesterday, we saw redemption made real in a 6 Floor seminar room in Dealy Hall on Fordham University’s Bronx campus. It is not something any of us will soon forget

This is why we have a Bronx African American History Project. This is why all of us- whether on campus or in the community- do the work of identifying and recording voices which for too long have gone unheard

William Parker, a true Renaissance man of the NYC music scene, was born on January 10,1952 in the Bronx. Once a burgeoni...
03/03/2018

William Parker, a true Renaissance man of the NYC music scene, was born on January 10,1952 in the Bronx. Once a burgeoning bass player himself, Parker has become both a highly influential jazz musician and a beloved mentor, teaching at New York University and several prestigious music conservatories. Not content to contribute to groups simply by playing one of his instruments, Parker has written and produced many of his own compositions. Throughout his career he has enjoyed countless opportunities to work with both full orchestras (such as The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra) and with smaller groups such as quintets. He is also one of the few jazz musicians to play several instruments from around the world like the acro and the West African kora. Parker’s many albums continue to be successful with critics and audiences alike, and his books on the subject of music have also been very well-received. He is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. Parker and his wife Patricia are among those who organize the annual Vision Festival in NYC which showcases experimental music, art, dance and film. His 2017 interview with #BAAHP will be added to the BAAHP oral history archive soon. (Photo via williamparker.net) #BlackHistoryMonth #JazzMusician

Source: http://www.williamparker.net/biography#long-bio

Address

441 East Fordham Road Dealy Hall Room 641
Bronx, NY
10458

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Two of the Bronx's great musical heroes, Bobby Sanabria and Valerie Simpson, at the Grammy's
Oral Selkridge and His Son Aaron after an interview with Oral Selkridge about his experiences growing up in the Bronx, his recruitment as a 400 meter runner for Antigua in the 1988 Olympics, and his pursuit of a successful career as an architect
Want to Build a Stronger Connection Between Fordham and the Bronx? Support the Bronx African American History Project The Bronx African American History Project has become the most powerful force at Fordham linking the University and its students to the people and communities of the Bronx. It has partnerships with Bronx schools and cultural organizations, brings Bronx musicians and community leaders to perform and speak at Fordham, and organizes events, on campus and off, to defend immigrant communities which are under attack. It also does oral histories which recapture the atmosphere of Bronx neighborhoods that existed 50 years ago, as well as highlighting the dynamism of Bronx communities today. To that end, it has helped create a Bronx Italian American History Intiative and a Bronx LatinX Oral History Archive. It also does neighborhood tours for Fordham students, faculty and staff, lets Fordham people know about great Bronx restaurants shopping districts and cultural resources, and invites Bronx residents to attend all events it sponsors on campus free of charge If you want to help break down barriers separating Fordham from its Bronx neighbors, bring Bronx music and culture onto the Fordham campus and encourage Fordham students to explore the Bronx both through classes and student activities, there no better way to do this than donating to the Bronx African American History Project Here's How To Donate Make a check out to the "Bronx African American History Project" and send it to BAAHP 641 Dealy Hall Fordham University Bronx, NY 10458 or with a credit card, use this link https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1362/18/interior-wide.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=603&cid=1881&bledit=1&dids=281 No donation is too small! A large number of small and medium donations show how deep the BAAHP's support is among Fordham alumni, students and staff, and lovers of the Bronx
Neo Nazis in the Bronx The Trump Presidency is not the first time that Neo-Nazis have tried to exploit the rage of whites offended by Black Civil Rights Protesters. The following took place in the Bronx in 1963 at the corner of Allerton Avenue and White Plains Road The White Castle Demonstrations As with other chapters, Bronx CORE's earliest actions were in support of other chapter’s projects such as New York CORE’s demonstration against Harlem Hospital. It wasn’t until the summer of 1963 campaign against local White Castle restaurants that the chapter really came into its own. Bronx CORE demanded 25% of White Castle’s jobs went to Blacks and Puerto Ricans. Out of 126 employees in its Bronx restaurants, only four were Black and they were porters/janitors. The first demonstration started with approximately twenty five pickets at the White Castle on Boston Road and Allerton Avenue on Saturday, July 6. During the five weeks the campaign lasted, the chapter not only had to deal with the taunts and random violence of local Whites but full blown examples of southern style violence, as well. The White Castle site happened to be a popular spot for local White youth to hangout and drag race. Well over a thousand Whites showed up that night to counter picket. Many of them paraded confederate flags, wore white hoods and carried crosses a la the Klan. They threw eggs, rocks, tomatoes at the protestors, cursed at them, yelled racial epithets and insults. They also claimed the pickets were inspired by communists. The next day firecrackers (which mimicked the sound of gunshots) were thrown at CORE demonstrators from a passing car. By night time, the female protestors had been sent home because of the violence. Only the male demonstrators remained such as Orville O’Brien (Black, 26, Brooklyn College student) who, even though he was on crutches, was attacked with stones while in a glass phone booth. The White crowd grew to several thousand by Sunday night. Perhaps in retaliation against the mob, a car with 3 black males and one female drove by at approximately midnight and shot one of the White mob in the face with an air pistol. Over the next few days, local White youth randomly attacked any Blacks passing the area whether they were part of the demonstration or not. Members of the American Nazi Party also joined the counter demonstration. On July 14, eight of the neo-nazis were arrested on charges of planning to incite a riot at the demonstrations. Four others were arrested for doing a drive by shooting. Other White Castles were picketed by CORE chapters in New Jersey and Long Island. White Castle eventually gave in for all its stores. The demonstrations also exposed for all to see the violently racist sentiments among many Whites in the Bronx.
Why Fordham Alums and Lovers of the Bronx Should Support the Bronx African American History Project The major contribution of the Bronx African American History Project to Fordham is that it connects Fordham to the cultural vitality of the overwhelmingly Black and Latino neighborhoods outside the university's gates. We organize lectures, conferences and concerts which bring that vitality onto campus and create partnerships with Bronx schools, community groups and cultural organizations which allow Fordham students to experience the world outside the campus gates in a more organic way. We also directly involve Fordham students in research- especially conducting and transcribing oral history interviews- which expands their knowledge of Bronx History and Culture, allows them to work with Bronx residents and leaders, and develops research skills valuable in their future careers. During the next year we have a number of exciting events and activities which promote that mission **** During the Fall of 2017 and the Spring of 2018, we will be inviting a number of Bronx schools to have their students sit in on a new class on the Bronx at Fordham developed and taught by BAAHP Faculty. **** In November 2017, we will be hosting a group of artists, hip hop performers and community organizers from Berlin who are participating in Bronx-Berlin Youth Exchange, an 8 year old program of which the BAAHP is one of the NY Hosts and Sponsors. **** We will be co-sponsoring and hosting ( on the BAAHP Website) oral history interviews of the newly formed Bronx Italian American History Initiative, a research program created on the model of the University/Community Partnership pioneered by the BAAHP. **** During Black History Month 2018, we are co-sponsoring an African Festival at Fordham highlighting the contribution of the Bronx’s African Immigrant communities and sponsoring a forum on the Afro-Latinx Presence in the Bronx and other NYC Communities of Color **** On April 21, 2018, we are sponsoring a Women in Jazz Festival, free and open to the community, featuring the world class jazz pianists and composers Valerie Capers and Judy Carmichael ***** In October of 2018, we will be sponsoring an art auction and jazz concert, free and open to the community, highlighting the art and cultural activism of artist Frederic Brown, father of FCRH2017 Alum Bentley Brown. We believe there is a growing number of people who will want to support such activities, whether because of their desire to enhance Fordham’s mission or to celebrate the cultural vitality of the Bronx and its people. So if you know people who love the Bronx, love Black culture or think Fordham needs to lower its gates, at least metaphorically, to cement its ties to the Bronx, by means encourage them to support us, as those people are the target audience for BAAHP fundraising! Here is the link they can use to contribute to the BAAHP https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1362/rd/index.aspx?sid=1362&gid=1&pgid=603&cid=1881&bledit=1&dids=281 All over the nation and the word, people see the Bronx African American History Project as a model of community based research which democratizes University culture and empowers urban communities. Thank you for supporting our work Sincerely Mark D Naison Founder and Director Bronx African American History Project
Friends! If any of you are interested in contributing to Fordham in a way which strengthens its ties to Bronx communities and makes Bronx residents feel at home on campus, one of the best ways to do that is by making your donation to the Bronx African American History Project. Every event we organize an event at Fordham, whether it is a jazz concert or a forum on fighting Islamophobia and defending the rights of immigrants, is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. The big event we are fundraising for is a Women in Jazz Celebration next April, but will will also be having forums at Fordham and in the community dealing with Broken Windows Policing and Immigrant Rights. Every contribution you make to the BAAHP, no matter what size is a statement to Fordham saying you want it to have a different relationship to the Bronx The link is below! Thank you for listening
Save the Date!!! April 21, 2018 will be a Women in Jazz Concert at Fordham featuring two of the worlds great jazz pianists, Valerie Capers and Judy Carmichael! This event, taking place in McGinley Center Ballroom will be FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Both of these artists are great singers, composers, and educators as well as brilliant pianists, and they will help expose students from inside and outside the university to one of our great musical traditions. This event is sponsored by the Bronx African American History Project