skip to main content

Fordham Professor Honored at Brooklyn Public School


Mark Naison (center, wearing all black) with P.S. 257’s drum line.
The school’s principal, Brian DeVale, is to Naison’s right.
(Photo courtesy of Mark Naison)

Mark Naison, Ph.D., professor of African and African-American studies, was an honored guest at P.S. 257 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Jan. 20.

“I was deeply moved by the hospitality shown by Principal Brian DeVale and his staff and tremendously impressed by the dedication and talent of the teachers at the school,” said Naison, who was invited to visit to school as a result of an article he wrote, “In Defense of Public School Teachers.”

During his visit, Naison visited several classes and ate lunch with the School Leadership Team. He also attended a ballroom dancing class and a performance by the school’s drum line.

“It was incredible,” he said. “The students made a tremendous impression on me. The school resembled many of the wonderful schools in the Bronx I visited when I was doing Oral History training for teachers. The children were happy, energetic, intellectually curious and quite astonished to see an old white man rap!”

Yes, Naison’s hip-hop alter ego, the Notorious Ph.D. gave a performance.

“What a great day this was,” he said. “It reinforced my determination to speak out on behalf of some of the most talented and dedicated public servants in our nation—our public school teachers.”

—Gina Vergel


Comments are closed.