Richard Parrish, the Black Caucus, and the 1968 Ocean Hill–Brownsville strikes

In 1968, Rhody McCoy, the Black superintendent of Ocean Hill-Brownsville public schools in New York, notified twelve white teachers that they would be transferred. To McCoy, these white teachers (if not most of the white teachers in the district) were too patronizing and aloof to teach Black students. McCoy believed they were unwilling to participate in the community control experiment in good faith, so the local school governing board voted to have them transferred.

Albert Shanker, president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), considered the transfers a violation of due process. To Shanker, the teachers had been unfairly fired; they were removed not based on their job performance but because of Black nationalist ideology, and without a formal hearing at that. He demanded that they be reinstated. When the local board proposed a compromise that would have allowed the teachers to return, but without teaching assignments, Shanker replied to the aide who relayed the message: “Fuck you. I want those teachers in the classrooms now.”1

Developments over the next few months would cause the situation to escalate. For the rest of the academic year most white teachers boycotted the Ocean Hill-Brownsville schools. To the irritation of Shanker, they were replaced with volunteers enthusiastic about community control but hired without having met testing requirements. Shanker was riled further by news in August of the Board of Education’s decentralization plan, which permitted local school boards to hire and transfer teachers. But by the end of the summer, Shanker would score the victory he wanted. When a judge ruled that the transferred teachers were entitled to return, the local board ignored the decision. With no resolution to his liking, Shanker secured authorization from the UFT Delegate Assembly to call a strike on the first day of school.

The UFT went on strike three times that fall. The image of a white teachers’ union striking against a Black community led to accusations of racism against the union. Shanker took pains to present the central issue as one of job security. He posed it as a question of fairness: Teachers who do their job well should be able to work where they want. Dismissal on ideological grounds was unacceptable, and, in any case, transferred teachers had a right to a formal hearing.

Toward Black Power

But to many, at the heart of the issue was Black Power. The community-controlled schools experiment, which empowered Black communities to staff Black personnel and create curricula that celebrated Black culture, was under attack by the teachers union. James Baldwin, writer and former New York City public school student, wrote that the strikes were meant to intimidate the Black community into submission to the white status quo:

But [Superintendent McCoy’s] dismissal of the teachers meant that he thought he had the right to dismiss them. . . . That he had no such right had to be made immediately and abundantly clear, not only to protect the power of the United Federation of Teachers, but also to prevent any of the billions of dollars involved in the Education business from being controlled by Black and Puerto Rican communities. Therefore, the head of the United Federation of Teachers, Albert Shanker, called a city-wide strike. This was to put McCoy in his place and to make certain that his exercise of authority would not constitute a precedent.2

For Baldwin, the strikes of 1968 marked yet another chapter in the racist history of the United States: “[Black people] took it for what it was, a power ploy, more proof of the American determination to keep the nigger in his place.”3

The view that the strikes served to protect a system of white privilege was reasonable. Teachers and principals in New York City were hired off an eligibility list from which Black people were largely absent. The examination system that determined eligibility was clearly discriminatory. Most of the new principals appointed by the local board of Ocean Hill-Brownsville were, therefore, deliberately selected outside of the list. But the board’s appointments were opposed by the union. In an unprecedented move, the UFT reached across class lines to join the principals union in a lawsuit against the local board’s choice of “ineligible” principals, all of whom were either Black or Puerto Rican. In the lawsuit McCoy’s selection as superintendent was also challenged.

To many New Yorkers it was a given that the union lacked consideration for Black people. Throughout the decade Black mistrust in the UFT grew. Since the union’s founding in 1960, schools in the city became more segregated. Exam scores of Black students were declining. Reports of verbal or even physical abuse from white teachers were common. By 1968, many held the UFT responsible for the poor state of Black education.

The UFT’s record on civil rights in the city also left much to be desired. The UFT was on the sidelines when in February 1964 the largest civil rights demonstration in the country occurred. Over 400,000 students boycotted the public schools, demanding that they be integrated. Shanker refused to endorse the boycott, claiming that doing so would constitute violation of the UFT contract’s no-strike clause.4 To the boycotters, the UFT’s abstention spoke volumes.

If the UFT was a bystander in the early 1960s, by 1966 it appeared to have become an antagonist to civil rights. That year Harlem families demanded a Black principal for the newly constructed school I.S. 201. They also demanded community control. When the white principal voluntarily rescinded the job offer, the UFT, without regard to the desires of the Black community, demanded his reinstatement and won.

The following year the union seemed to have renewed its attack on the Black community. The UFT tried to negotiate in its contract a “disruptive child” provision, which would have allowed teachers to more easily remove students from their classrooms. The provision was criticized by the African-American Teachers Association (ATA) for granting police powers to white teachers to remove Black students. When the city refused to budge, the UFT struck. In protest, UFT members in the ATA resigned their union memberships.5

By 1968 the UFT had a reputation such that the racist character of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville strikes was, to some, a foregone conclusion.

The UFT in the civil rights movement

But for Shanker, charges of racism could not be further from the truth.

The UFT, after all, was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. In 1964, it awarded its prestigious John Dewey Award to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The union helped recruit teachers to staff the Freedom Schools in Virginia and Mississippi. To support voter registration efforts in Alabama, the union purchased two station wagons, one which Shanker personally drove to Selma and donated to Dr. King. When some teachers criticized the union’s involvement in the Selma to Montgomery marches, Shanker replied that its solidarity was in the interests of the teachers:

[T]he UFT will continue to give top priority to the improvement of our schools through a better contract, but that we will not succeed in this if we pursue narrow goals. (The road of narrow self-interest leads to isolation and defeat.) Our strength in realizing our goals is based upon solidarity with other unions and with other groups within the community which share our purposes. Teachers will earn the right to the support of the public only as they give leadership within the community on issues which go beyond narrow self-interest.6

After Dr. King’s assassination while supporting a strike of Black workers in Memphis, Shanker sent a telegram to Mayor Lindsay to request that one teacher in each school be released to fundraise for the Memphis strike.7 Thousands of dollars were raised from UFT members and donated to the 1,300 Black sanitation workers.

The union could boast of its support for the civil rights movement, as well as its support from civil rights leaders. Dr. King had declared his support for the 1967 UFT strike (although in his telegram he urged the union to “pay special attention to clarifying the issue of the disruptive child”8). He even donated fifteen dollars to help pay for Shanker’s bail.

Famously, the union’s strikes of 1968 were supported by Black leaders A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin. In a letter sponsored by the A. Philip Randolph Institute, of which Rustin was executive director, Randolph made it clear that “due process is the central issue.”9 Accusations of racism against the union were not only inaccurate, but damaging:

One of the most dangerous aspects of the conflict involving the UFT, the Board of Educations, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville governing board is that it has been portrayed as a racial issue—the UFT versus the Black community, the UFT versus decentralization. Nothing could be more tragic than this distortion. Nothing could more sharply aggravate racial strife or more cruelly prolong the school shut-down.10

The letter, which was titled “An Appeal to the Community from Black Trade Unionists,” had over twenty signatories. It showed that several Black officials in the labor movement had Shanker’s back.

Yet absent in the letter were the names of Black teachers. Although it was the most supported UFT strike in its history among white members,11 it was also the most racially polarizing. Shanker failed to secure support from his Black members, who immediately in the first strike founded the Black Caucus. Shanker lost his most important Black ally in the UFT leadership to the caucus, the labor and civil rights veteran Richard Parrish.

“A vigorous fighter for union democracy”

Richard Parrish was a suitable choice for chairman of the newly founded Black Caucus. Throughout his long activist career he personified civil rights unionism,12 having in his youth discovered the power of leveraging the labor movement for racial justice.

When Parrish worked as a drafter during the Great Depression, he led a campaign for higher wages. In the course of the campaign he and his coworkers unionized into the New York Navy Shipyards Association.13 With the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians (FAECT-CIO), Parrish served as a test case in a successful campaign to end the Navy Department’s discriminatory employee rating system.14 With the United Public Workers of America (UPWA-CIO) he led a fight against the Red Cross for its policy of segregating blood, which continued throughout the Second World War until 1950.

In college, Parish was an organizer in A. Philip Randolph’s 1941 March on Washington Movement. He disagreed with Randolph’s decision to cancel the march after President Roosevelt desegregated the defense industries, but he and Randolph continued their collaboration. Years later Parrish joined, and eventually became president of, the National Afro-American Labor Council, founded by Randolph in 1960. He also held membership in the Negro Labor Committee and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

In 1947, on his first day as a teacher Parrish joined the New York Teachers Guild (predecessor to the UFT, which he cofounded in 1960). Throughout the 1950s Parrish demanded at each American Federation of Teachers (AFT) convention that the federation expel its segregated locals, which it finally did in 1956.

Parrish, a vice president of the AFT, was also chairman of its civil rights committee. One of its most important projects was started in Prince Edward County, Virginia, in the summer of 1963. Having exhausted its maneuvers to avoid desegregating the public schools, county officials shut them down indefinitely in 1959, until a Supreme Court decision forced their reopening in 1964. Throughout these five years white children were serviced by private schools sustained with tax rebates and tuition grants from the Virginia state legislature, while most Black children went without any public education. Many never returned to school. After personally surveying the state of the county in early 1963, Parrish wrote:

As we left the county, we were preoccupied with thoughts of what we as teachers could do to help more than 1600 students. What to do with 498 students who had received no more than one or two years of education outside of the county? Where would we start with the 1100 students who have received no education for four years? What does one say to the countless children, now 10 years of age, who have never seen the inside of a public school or any school for that matter? Of this, however, we had no doubts or reservations. The UFT should do something in Prince Edward County this summer.15

The “something” that the UFT did was establishing the South’s first Freedom Schools.

As chairman of the UFT’s Human Relations Committee, Parrish coordinated the creation and staffing of eight schools in Prince Edward County. The UFT project would inspire the Mississippi Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) to create its own Freedom Schools a year later. With Parrish’s leadership the UFT once again sent volunteers and donations to staff the southern schools; the only professional group of teachers to cosponsor Freedom Summer. The New York teachers persevered through harassment and arrests, and under the constant threat of death (the murders of volunteers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner occurred that summer). Six teachers stayed in Mississippi after the summer. An AFT campaign, led by former volunteers Sandy Addickes and Norma Becker, encouraged schools nationwide to “adopt” a Freedom School in an effort to sustain the Mississippi Freedom School Project.16

Outside of his involvement in the labor and civil rights movements, Parrish also entered politics. In the same year he coordinated the Prince Edward County project, Parrish ran as the Socialist Party USA candidate for New York City Council.17 Parrish used his campaign to bring attention to segregation in the city. His candidacy for councilman, endorsed by the Socialist Workers Party,18 was considered to be the only one with a genuine civil rights platform.

Throughout his life Parrish led workplace struggles, unionized coworkers, and fought for civil rights both inside and outside the labor movement. It was with good reason that in 1966 the Amsterdam News called him, “A vigorous fighter for union democracy.”19

In his most pivotal fight Parrish would have to do battle, not with Jim Crow segregationism, but with a color-blind liberalism personified by his union’s president Albert Shanker. For Parrish, “the [Ocean Hill-Brownsville] strikes were against the legitimate aspirations and education goals of Black children.”20 New organization within the UFT was required to commit the union to a civil rights agenda.

The UFT Black Caucus

Many of the UFT’s Black members actively opposed the strikes. Some crossed the picket lines. A press release issued on September 14 announced the formation of the UFT Black Caucus, stating that in the interests of both school children and the labor movement:

  1.  [We] demand that the Board of Education administrators and supervisors open the schools on Monday, September 16, 1968 and resume the educational instruction of NYC’s children.
  2. We state our unequivocal support of Rhody McCoy and advise Al Shanker that we oppose his irresponsible actions in calling a strike against the community on Friday, September 13, 1968 demanding removal of Mr. McCoy without due process.
  3. We go on record as supporting decentralization.21

In a postmortem published in Labor Today, Black Caucus chairman Richard Parrish described the strikes as a “blow to education, [and a] boon to racism.”22 They “merely widened the rift, increased anti-Black prejudice, raised the specter of alleged Black anti-Semitism, and split this city as it has never been split before.”23 Parrish wrote that Shanker’s refusal to negotiate with the local board illustrated an indifference to Black people that had precedent in the antebellum period: “The insistence of the UFT leadership on not dealing with the problems of the local board, and on having Whitey, who is represented by the Board of Education, deal for them, is a type of plantation bossism which I think is reprehensible.”24

It was clear that the UFT’s goal was to eliminate the community control experiments, and therefore the threat of Black Power to its authority in the school system. The UFT’s claim that the central issue was due process was disingenuous: “Yet the union, contrary to custom, demanded formal hearings . . . usually granted in dismissal cases, but never in transfer cases.”25

Disingenuous, too, was the union’s characterization of the impulse behind the community control movement. Parrish argued that the campaign for community control reflected the legitimate aspirations of the city’s Black families, because connected to the appeal for community control was the demand for jobs and power. Thus, “the union's tactic of trying to blame ‘Black extremists’ for the strikes is a new, modern form of red-baiting, and is not very productive at revealing real causes.”26

By blaming outsiders for the 1968 crisis, the union absolved itself of responsibility for its development. The community control movement arose in large part as a consequence of the UFT’s own failures to participate in a broader fight for the desegregation of the city:

But when the union took the public stand of being in favor of this goal [integration] and then was not able to get together with various to effect the new housing and job relations that were necessary to make effective integration, the Black community felt that they had been let down.27

After the 1967 strike over the “disruptive child” provision, several members of the African-American Teachers Association left the UFT. Parrish, however, pointed out that Black people can leverage the union to promote civil rights:

A UFT that has the will to set up Freedom Schools in Mississippi should have the will to initiate experimental programs in disadvantaged schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville or Harlem. If the UFT could join others in Selma to confront the power structure for human rights, it can likewise join Blacks and other allies.28

The way forward, Parrish said, was for “Black teachers [to] stick within the union to find out ways and procedures by which we can bring the union and Black and Puerto Rican communities together.”29 Soon after the 1968 strikes the Black Caucus expanded nationally across AFT locals. For over a decade it was the vehicle through which Black teachers attempted to rescue the country’s teachers unions from now AFT President Albert Shanker, and his “not in my backyard” approach to civil rights.

The AFT Black Caucus

The United Black Caucus of the AFT, with Richard Parrish as its chairman, tried to transform the national federation into a vehicle for racial justice, as it was remembered by some to have once been. Throughout the 1970s it proposed resolutions at AFT conventions on questions regarding the Vietnam War30, Angela Davis, desegregation busing, and affirmative action.

Yet the AFT’s commitment to liberalism, once a source of strength for the civil rights movement, was now a stumbling block. After the end of legal segregation, Dr. King understood that there was much work left to be done: “For we know now that it isn’t enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger?”31 Once the laws of Jim Crow were eradicated, the laws of capital would have to be confronted. The movement now required the demand for a tremendous redistribution of wealth. In a 1967 speech in Atlanta, Dr. King said:

Now we are in a period where it will cost the nation billions of dollars to get rid of poverty, to get rid of slums, to make quality integrated education a reality. This is where we are now. Now we’re going to lose some friends in this period. The allies who were with us in Selma will not all stay with us during this period.32

The AFT leadership decided that to stay would have been too costly. It would have required, for example, that the AFT break its reliance on the Democratic Party, which was more concerned with managing the social crisis with austerity than welfare. The AFT’s reaction to the Black Caucus throughout the 1970s confirmed that some of the allies Dr. King spoke of who were in Selma—as Albert Shanker had been—would jettison the movement.

At the 1971 AFT convention the Black Caucus proposed a resolution demanding that Angela Davis be freed from jail. Shanker campaigned to have the resolution defeated, because it was “asking not for justice but favoritism for a particular person.”33 Parrish considered Shanker’s opposition “a blatant refusal to recognize the real issues of political repression and racism which are so rampant in this country.”34

At the 1975 AFT convention, Shanker dropped his gavel in order to join the floor to oppose a Black Caucus resolution endorsing the desegregation of Boston schools by means of busing.35

In 1978 the AFT came out in support of the Supreme Court Bakke decision, which ruled that the use of racial quotas by universities was unconstitutional. The decision legitimized the idea of “reverse discrimination.” According to the Black Caucus, the AFT's vote in favor of the Bakke case was an effort to “reverse the hard won gains of the civil rights movement.”36

As trade unionists we know we cannot rely on the promises of employers and institutions not to discriminate . . . Real affirmative action requires the kind of concrete, specific programs that Mr. [Albert Shanker] likes to call quotas.37

The AFT, once an ally of the civil rights movement, was now engaged in the nation’s backlash against the movement’s gains.

The union’s about-face was made possible by its increasing bureaucratization. Shanker had become a national autocrat, holding the presidencies of the UFT and AFT simultaneously for twelve years. Shanker’s power rested on his adaptation to the membership’s increasing conservatism, and the forced isolation of his opponents. For his betrayal to Shanker, Richard Parrish was expelled from the UFT’s Unity Caucus. Parrish eventually lost his titles as UFT treasurer and AFT vice president. In the end, the AFT’s commitment to civil rights could not withstand the authoritarianism of the labor bureaucracy.


The 1968 Ocean Hill-Brownsville strikes pitted the teachers union and the Black community against each other. The strikes also caused a rift between Black teachers and their union. In the beginning of the decade, the UFT had a reputation among its members of being a champion for civil rights. But the union’s opposition to community control obliterated its racial justice credentials and caused some labor leaders, like Richard Parrish, to break with Shanker to found the Black Caucus. The 1968 strikes proved to be the dress rehearsal for Shanker’s crusade against civil rights in the 1970s.

The strikes coincided with an ensuing economic and social crisis. The abolition of Jim Crow proved inadequate to rescue Black people from the tight grip of the invisible hand, as capitalist markets continued to strengthen segregation. Labor had the power to fight for nationwide integration; instead, it prioritized collaboration rather than confrontation with the ruling class (including the Democratic Party). The recession of the 1970s enabled bosses, bankers, and governments to launch a successful offensive against a divided working class. Throughout the past five decades, gains of both the labor movment and the civil rights movement have been continuously rolled back.

In 1975 the UFT was threatened with layoffs and pay cuts by a city that was on the verge of bankruptcy. When the union went on strike, it failed miserably. Black teachers at I.S. 201 (the school Shanker had attacked in 1967 for considering to replace a white principal for a Black one) crossed the picket lines.38 They believed the union was deliberately avoiding the issue of white teachers replacing Black teachers who were laid off. Clearly, the union’s alienation of the Black community over the course of the decade was complete. Its opposition to desegregation in the 1960s boomeranged later to undermine its own efforts in uniting its ranks—nevermind garnering community support—to secure a better contract amidst the financial crisis.

Ever since 1975 the union has avoided the strike weapon. Instead it has pursued a strategy exclusively based on backroom dealing and reliance on indifferent Democrats. As a result, conditions for teachers, students, and their families have worsened. Issues popularized by the recent “red state” teacher rebellions such as overcrowding, dilapidated buildings, job security, and benefits are also native to New York City. The city’s school district has become the most segregated in the country.39 Gentrification40 has produced a crisis in which over 114,000 public school children experience homelessness every day.41 The state of Black education is alarming, yet the UFT rejected this past year a resolution endorsing the Black Lives Matter At School campaign.42

Today there is a need to follow the example of the Black Caucus. Segregation has reached to levels where it is normal for students in the same building to be separated, based on racialized criteria including test scores and attendance rates, into different schools that receive unequal funding and access to resources.43 As the Chicago Teachers Union famously pointed out, teachers’ working conditions are their students’ learning conditions—and vice versa. Educators fighting to improve the state of public education must make desegregation a central tenet of their program.

Yet they would be hard-pressed to fight segregation without simultaneously trying to democratize their unions. The achievement of racial justice in schooling will require walk-outs, strikes, and other forms of direct action. It will demand that educators confront the Democratic Party, because it largely runs the cities where apartheid schools exist. As it stands, the labor bureaucracy of the AFT is opposed to the kind of mass action required to force the desegregation of America. Part of the work must, therefore, involve the transformation of rank-and-file educators into activists who collectively leverage the power of their unity for the betterment of the working class. In this way the specter of Jim Crow will, finally, fade into history.

  1. Sol Stern, “The New ‘Scabs,’ ” Ramparts Magazine 23, November 17, 1968, in Jerald E. Podair, The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis (Yale University Press, 2002), 105.
  2. James Baldwin, “Introduction by James Baldwin,” in Robert Campbell, The Chasm: The Life and Death of a Great Experiment in Ghetto Education (Houghton Mifflin, 1974), xix.
  3. Baldwin, xx.
  4. Stephen Lazar, “In Solidarity with Those Which Share Our Purposes: The United Federation of Teachers and the Civil Rights Movement, 1963-1965,” Unpublished paper, May 2018.
  5. Jerald E. Podair, “ ‘White’ Values, ‘Black’ Values: The Ocean Hill-Brownsville Controversy and New York City Culture, 1965–1975,” Radical History Review 59 (Spring 1994):36–59. Between 1967 and 1973, Shanker made accusations of racism against the ATA’s efforts to celebrate Black culture and history in the schools. The UFT would eventually accomplish the destruction of the ATA. The union lobbied the federal government to cut $500,000 of funding to the ATA. It also won a judgement against the ATA under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sent by Shanker as a test case, for excluding white teachers from its meetings on school property. This expensive legal battle exhausted the ATA’s treasury, such that by the mid-1970s it was powerless.
  6. Albert Shanker to the editor of the New York World Telegram & Sun, April 5, 1965, box 69, folder 23, United Federation of Teachers Records, Tamiment Library & Wagner Labor Archives, New York.
  7. Albert Shanker to Mayor Lindsay, 5 April, 1968, box 69, folder 23, UFT Records.
  8. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Albert Shanker, September 13, 1967, box 69, folder 23, UFT Records.
  9. “An Appeal to the Community from Black Trade Unionists,” September 19, 1968, reel 3, Richard Parrish papers (Additions 1), Sc Micro R-6688, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library.
  10. Ibid.
  11. UFT, “United Federation of Teachers: 50 Years,” PDF, The UFT refers to a New York Times report to claim that the 1968 strikes had more membership support than the strikes of previous years: “Union members voted overwhelmingly to strike. At crunch time, 93 percent stayed off the job, compared to 12 percent in 1960, 52 percent in 1962 and 77 percent in 1967, New York Times reported.”
  12. Robert Korstad, “Civil Rights Unionism.” Jacobin, May 30, 2018,
  13. Dave Elsila, “Richard Parrish: A Vigorous Fighter For Union Democracy,” New York Amsterdam News, April 23, 1966.
  14. Elsila, “Richard Parish.”
  15. Richard Parrish, “No Greater Need,” May 3, 1968, box 1, folder 20, Parrish Papers (Additions 2).
  16. Norma Becker papers, 1961-1975; Historical Society Library Microforms Room, Micro 817, Reel 1, (PDF page 88). Accessed December 2, 2018.
  17. “Parrish For City Council: ADA Endorses Socialist And Liberal In N.Y. Council Race,” October 21, 1963, box 1, folder 19, Parrish Papers (Additions 2).
  18. “Socialist Workers Endorses Parrish In Manhattan Race,” October 14, 1963, The Militant, Accessed December 2, 2018.
  19. Elsila, “Richard Parrish.”
  20. Richard Parrish, “The New York City Teachers Strikes,” Labor Today, May 1969, Reel 3, Parrish Papers (Additions 1).
  21. “UFT Black Caucus,” September 14, 1968, reel 3, Parrish Papers (Additions 1).
  22. Parrish, “The New York City Teachers Strikes.”
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid
  26. Ibid.
  27. Ibid.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Ibid.
  30. Richard Parrish, November 10, 1970, reel 3, Parrish Papers (Additions 1). “You only have until about Saturday, November 14th to vote YES on the AFT Peace Proposal . . . Don’t forget to vote. Remind your colleagues. It’s important.”
  31. Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to an audience of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, March 18, 1968, appears in Michael Honey, “All Labor Has Dignity” (Beacon Press, 2011), 175.
  32. Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to a meeting of the Hungry Club Forum, May 10, 1967, Accessed December, 2 2018.
  33. “Blacks Blast AFT Over Angela Case,” Chicago Daily Defender, August 19, 1971.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Gene I. Maeroff, “AFT Blacks Lose on Bid For Strong Busing Stand,” New York Times, July 16, 1975. “Mr. Shanker said that the Black Caucus resolution was inappropriate because the federation ‘is not united on the question of busing,’ and because ‘we do not have a mandate from our membership to say that we have research what is the best way to desegregate schools.’”
  36. Cislyn Munroe, “Blacks Oppose AFT Stand On Affirmative Action,” Bay State Banner, August, 25, 1977.
  37. Ibid.
  38. Barbara Campbell, “I.S. 201 Teachers Are Defying Strike,” New York Times, September 15 1975,
  39. Madina Toure, “NYC Has the Most Segregated Schools in the Country. How Do We Fix That?,” Observer, June 14, 2018, ,
  40. Ronnie Flores, “What Drives Gentrification?,” Socialist Worker, January 15, 2014,
  41. Eliza Shapiro, “Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is At a Record High: 114,659 Students,” New York Times, October 15, 2018,
  42. Natasha Capers and Zakiyah Ansari, “Why Won't the United Federation of Teachers Sign Onto Black Lives Matter?,” Daily News, February 5, 2018,
  43. Susan Edelman, “DOE schools in shared building are 'separate and unequal': suit,” 9 July, 2017, New York Post, Accessed 2 December, 2018.

Issue #103

Winter 2016-17

"A sense of hope and the possibility for solidarity"

Interview with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
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