Synopses & Reviews
A new departure in the world of Urban Fiction symbolizing its coming of age in the academic community...
PURE BRONX is a story about the vast diversity of people who make the Bronx what it ishustlers, gang bangers, immigrants, and the working poor and the powerful interests trying to make money off its struggling people. And its about lovewhat you sacrifice, and what you accept for a chance at real happiness.
Set in the first year of Barack Obama's presidency, Pure Bronx is a love story about a young couple from the South Bronx. Khalil and Rasheeda are trying to make it out of the ghetto, and taste what middle-class America takes for granted. Born and raised in Patterson Houses, Khalil is a 21-year-old hustler, who is the main provider for his family. Beautiful and sexy, 19-year old Rasheeda is a dancer at a strip club. She lives in Mitchell Houses with her mother and younger brother, attends college, and is also the main provider for family. Rasheeda is struggling to make ends meet. Khalil meets and falls in love with Rasheeda. Things go good for a while, but facing crisis after crisis, Rasheeda breaks down in front of Khalil. He takes her seriously when she jokingly suggests kidnapping her richest client, and one of the wealthiest men on Wall Street, Robert Seidman. Khalil enlists the help of his two trusted friends, and hatches a plan to kidnap Seidman.
Things go awry when the kidnappers discover that Seidman has his own financial problems. They resort to Plan B and this involves Seidmans wife, who feels betrayed. Will she bite? Read Pure Bronx and find out why this action packed, drama filled story is more potent than just any coming-of-age tale from the hood. Packed with more drama than straphangers on the 1,2, 4, 5 and 6 trains at rush hour, Pure Bronx is a page-turner thatll make you cheer, bringing tears, and laughter.
"No question, Dr Naison has notoriously been leading social justice activism and scholarship for decades, but his world expands beyond classrooms and picket lines...without a doubt, pure Bronx reveals his pure Brooklyn roots." --Akua Naru (Rapper)
"Mark Naison has spent his academic life bringing his students and colleagues into the neighborhoods and social worlds of working-class New Yorkers and introducing the realities of those mean streets to the genteel inhabitants of the Ivory Tower."
--Craig Steven Wilder, Professor and Head of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"Dr. Mark Naison is one of the most important writers, thinkers, and activists we have in America. He is a fearless and tireless voice for truth and change, and one of the best examples of democratic values we've ever produced."
Kevin Powell, writer, hip hop activist, founder of BK Nation.
"Melissa Castillo-Garsow represents the future in not only hip-hop scholarship, but academia at large. She is more than just a brilliant and meticulous researcher, but a creative young mind whose work is in the spirit of hip-hop itself." - Dr. Jason Nichols, University of Maryland at College Park and Editor of Words Beats and Life: The Global Journal Of Hip-Hop Culture.
In everything he does, Mark Naison combines over forty years as a leading historian with over forty years of activism. His commitment to social justice is fierce and boundless.
Brian Purnell, Professor of Africana Studies,Bowdoin College
"Mark Naison turns the interplay between activism and scholarship into a powerful force that informs and enriches his writings. Through op-eds, blogs, social media posts, auto-biographies, award winning history books, and now novels, Naison shares his insightful and provocative ideas with multiple publics. For these reasons, I consider Mark Naison, Americas People Scholar."
Henry Taylor, director of graduate Urban Studies Program, SUNY NBuffalo, director, Perry Neighborhood Initiative
"Mark Naison doesn't just have a zest for life, he ATTACKS life and relishes every bit of it."
Judy Carmichael, award winning jazz pianist; host of radio show Jazz Inspired”
Pure Bronx is the story of a young couple from the South Bronx trying to make it out of the ghetto and have a taste of the prosperity middle class Americans take for granted.
Khalil is a 21-year-old hustler. Hes intelligent, respectful and was born and raised in the Patterson Houses. He is also the main provider for his family.
Rasheeda is a 19-year old who moved to the nearby Mitchell Houses when she was 8 years old and has fought her whole life to stay in school. Now in college, she is struggling and to make ends meet. Rasheeda dances at a local strip club. Shes the main provider for her mother and younger brother.
They meet and things starts out good but after falling behind in her tuition payments and getting suspended from work, Rasheeda breaks down in front of Khalil.
She reveals her intense hatred at having to strip to go to school. She jokingly suggests kidnapping her richest client, Robert Seidman, who happens to be one of the wealthiest men on Wall Street.
Khalil takes her suggestions seriously and hatch a plan with the help of his friends, Mamadoo and Juno. They kidnapped Seidman, after drugging him and hiding him at Junos garage, they discover not only that Seidman has been involved in a Ponzi scheme, but theres no money. They have to go Plan B when Seidmans wife, feeling betrayed, tells the kidnappers they might as well kill him.
Action packed, set in the first year of Barack Obama's presidency, PURE BRONX is more than just a coming of age tale from the hood. Its a story of the vast diversity of people who make the Bronx what it is, including hustlers, gang bangers, immigrants, and the working poor, and powerful interests trying to make money off its struggling people. And its about love what you sacrifice, and what you accept, just for a chance at real happiness.
Read Pure Bronx and find out why this action packed, drama filled story is more potent than just any coming-of-age tale from the hood. Packed with more drama than straphangers on the 1,2, 4, 5 and 6 trains at rush hour, Pure Bronx is a
page-turner thatll make you cheer, bringing tears, and laughter.
About the Author
is Professor of History and African American Studies at Fordham University. He is the author of four books and over 100 articles on African American politics, social movements and American culture and sports Dr. Naison is the Principal Investigator of the Bronx African American History Project, one of the largest community based oral history projects in the nation and has begun work on an book of oral histories from the BAAHP, with Robert Gumbs, entitled Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1030s to the 1960s. His articles about Bronx music and Bronx culture have been published in German, Spanish, Catalan, and Portuguese as well as English.
When not doing historical research, Naison likes to play tennis and golf, post commentary on his blog With a Brooklyn Accent” and make periodic forays into the media. He has appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, the Discovery Channel's Greatest American Competition (as Dr King's advocate), and on the Dave Chappell Show, where his "performance" has been preserved on that show's Second Year DVD. During the last five years, he has begun presenting historical "raps" in Bronx schools under the nickname of "Notorious Phd" and was the subject of stories about his use of hip hop in teaching in the Daily News, and on Bronx 12 Cablevision, and Fox Business. Most recently he has done commentary on Occupy Wall Street for ABC News, and BBC America. He also comments regularly on education issues through his blog and on LA Progressive, History News Network and. The Washington Post Answer Sheet”. PURE BRONX is his first novel.
Melissa Castillo-Garsow is a Mexican-American writer, journalist, and scholar currently pursuing a PhD in American Studies and African American Studies at Yale University. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various journals including The Acentos Review, La Bloga, Hispanic Culture Review, Hinchas de Poesia and The 2River View.
Melissa completed her Masters degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Fordham University in 2011 where she was a graduate assistant for the American Studies Program. Prior to that she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts from New York University summa cum laude with a double major in Journalism and Latin American Studies. A former employee of NBC News, El Diario/ La Prensa and Launch Radio Networks, Melissa has had articles and reviews published in a wide variety of forums including CNN.com, Latin Beat Magazine, Washington Square News, University Wire, El Diario/La Prensa, Womens Studies, Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, and The Bilingual Review.
Melissa is an active scholar in the fields of English literature, American Studies, African American Studies and Latin American/Latino Studies. At Yale, she focuses on the study of Afro-Latino history and culture in the 20th Century, presenting at numerous conferences including the American Studies Association Conference, the American Culture Association/ Popular Culture Association National Conference, the National Association for Ethnic Studies National Conference, and the Latin American Studies Conference.
After living and learning in various places including Ithaca, NY; Colima, Mexico; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; East Harlem, NY; Astoria, Queens; Tempe, Arizona; and New Haven, CT, she currently calls Brooklyn, NY home.