Fordham Notes: Book Signing for The Rat that Got Away

Monday, August 3, 2009

Book Signing for The Rat that Got Away

Mark Naison, Ph.D., professor of African American Studies and History and director of the Bronx African American History Project, and Allen Jones, a Bronx-born manager for foreign currency exchange at Dexia Banque Internationale at Luxembourg, will celebrate the publishing of The Rat that Got Away: A Bronx Memoir (Fordham University Press 2009) on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. at Books in the Hood, 815 Westchester Ave., The Bronx.

In the book, Jones recounts how he grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx in the 1950s, when that neighborhood was a place of optimism and hope for upwardly mobile Black and Latino families. But although he came from a two-parent household with many mentors, Jones—like many of his neighbors—saw his neighborhood battered by job losses and white flight, and a crippling drug epidemic lured him to heroin, first as a user, then a dealer.

He spent four months on Rikers Island, where he experienced a crisis of conscience and a determination to turn his life around. Sent to a New England prep school upon his release, Jones used his basketball skills and street smarts to forge a life outside the Bronx, first as a college athlete in the South, then as a professional basketball player, radio personality, and banker in Europe.

For more information, contact Books in the Hood at (347) 270-1215 or at

—Patrick Verel

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