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 www.myspace.com/booksinthehood