Student Maps African American and Italian History in the Bronx

Apr 17, 2019 636

BY: Eliot Schiaparell

As a research assistant for Fordham’s oral history initiatives, the Bronx Italian American History Initiative (BIAHI) and The Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP), Alison Rini, FCRH ’21, said she saw shared themes between the two projects. Soon after that, Rini said her research mentor Kathleen LaPenta, along with Co-Director of BIAHI, Jacqueline Riech, approached her with an idea to create an interactive map showcasing the interviews the project had completed.

“I think they also suggested putting it in a conversation with the African American History Project to show that this was all the Bronx at the same time,” Rini said. “This is hopefully just the first of many formal collaborations.” BIAHI has produced dozens of oral interviews and BAAHP has created hundreds. They interview Bronx natives about their experiences growing up in the Bronx and create transcripts and recordings in an archive. The archive is open to the public but Rini said it sometimes hard to navigate due to the volume of content.

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