African American Studies
Interviewee: Hetty Fox
Interviewers: Mark Naison, Richard Richardson, Mark C. Smith
Date Of Interview: N/A
Summarized By: Eddie Mikus
Hetty Fox is a former professor who spent much of her youth in the Bronx. As a resident of the borough, she has witnessed many of the social changes that have taken place over the past few decades.
Fox was born in Harlem, but moved to the Bronx at the age of 3. Her family was the first African-American family to reside on the block where she lived. As a child, Fox started school at P.S. 54, but eventually transferred to Saint Anthony of Padua. She also attended Cathedral High School. As a child, Fox played on her school basketball teams. After graduating high school, she then moved out to California, where she accepted a position selling unemployment insurance. However, she later accepted a position teaching physiology, sociology, and race relations at Cal State Northridge.
In 1970, Fox returned from the Bronx. She stated that she could not believe what would ultimately happen to her neighborhood with regards to deterioration. Fox said that she knew the number of houses that were being burned was dangerous for her. Additionally, she also documented other problems that the community faced, such as drugs and gangs. In fact, she even told the BAAHP that Mayor Koch refused to place a Neighborhood Preservation Office in the area where she grew up on the grounds that the area was too far gone.
Fox, Hetty. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
Click below to download supplemental content.Fox, Hetty.mp3 (81419 kB)