African American Studies
Edward Rosario grew up in the Hunt’s Point section of the Bronx. He and his family moved to the Bronx from east Harlem when Edward was very young. His family is originally from Puerto Rico and moved toNew Yorkin 1928. He essentially grew up without his father, who was a successful printer. Because of this, the family was on welfare.
The first building he remembers living, which was located between 156th street and Dawson avenue, in was very well kept and clean. The neighborhood was mixed. PS 39, his grade school, was also mixed. He describes in detail a number of street games he used to play with his friends. Although most of the teachers were white, he does not recall there being a lot of tension between the students and the teachers. He also describes how his family was not experiencing a lot of racism because they were Puerto Rican and because of this he had a hard time relating to the Black experience. He attendedMorrisHigh School and experienced much more segregation there. FromMorrisHigh School, he attended college at CCNY. When he was 21 he got married. After he graduated from college, he became a teacher. His first teaching job, when he was 24, was inHarlem. He entered admits a teacher’s strike and remembers a lot of afro-centrism.
He also describes what is was like to grow up in poverty. Although he was very poor, he claims he was very good at hiding it. However, he says he did develop psychological problems because of the environment he grew up in.
He was first exposed to music in his home. Her mother listened to a lot of Latin style music on the radio, which ranged from tango to Cuban style music. Because the family was so poor, he could not afford to attend concerts. His brother-in-law was a jazz drummer and when Edward was 14 he was invited to sit and play with his brother-in-law. He started practicing and mimicking other drummers. Through this he improved exponentially. He bought his first drum set in his teenage years as well, which was a Gretsch, blue pearl. When he got older he was more into playing Latin music.
He and his family were catholic and attended St. Margaret’s church. He remembers that the church offered a variety of activities for children to get involved in. He also describes how he was sexually molested by a priest. He claims that this experience did not damage him psychologically because he was experiencing more trauma as a result of poverty.
Rosario, Edward. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
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