African American Studies
Interviewee: Dana Driskell
Interviewers: Mark Naison, Mark Smith
Transcribed By: Colleen McCafferty
Summarized By: Eddie Mikus
Dana Driskell is a former student at Fordham University who has since worked for the New York City planning commission. He told the Bronx African-American History Project about some of the social changes that have occurred in the Bronx during his life, as well as his time at Fordham University.
Driskell said that his father worked as a sheet metal worker who often worked in construction. Although Driskell’s father belonged to a union, he said that his father often experienced discrimination that was prevalent within the construction industry. Furthermore, Driskell also said that fewer people today hold jobs similar to that held by his father. Driskell attributes this to the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway as well as the decline in households where the male is the main wage-earner for the family.
Driskell also spoke about his time at Fordham University, which he attended from 1969 until 1972. He told the Bronx African-American History Project about how Fordham relaxed its normal admissions standards due to a teacher’s strike at Driskell’s High School. At Fordham, Driskell said that he was involved in the leadership of a black student alliance on Fordham’s campus; additionally, he also took many of his classes within the African-American Studies Department. In fact, Driskell even said that he was at Fordham when students were demonstrating for the creation of the department. However, Driskell also stated that nationalist organizations such as the Black Panthers did not have a strong presence at Fordham during his time here.
Driskell, Dana. October 29, 2015. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
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