Baltimore riot of 1968 (Baltimore, MD) Chicago West Side riots (Chicago, IL) Louisville riots of 1968 (Louisville, KT) 1968 Washington, D.C. riots (Washington, D.C.) 1968 Wilmington riots (Wilmington, DE) 1968: Cleveland, OH — Glenville shootout and riot; 1969: York, PA — 1969 York Race Riot; 1969: New York, NY — Stonewall Riot Lester replied "No. The King-assassination riots, also known as the Holy Week Uprising, was a wave of civil disturbance which swept the United States following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968.  McCoy was reported to be influenced by the Harold Cruise book The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual and to believe Jews had too much influence in the civil rights movement. Prior to the boycott, the organizers asked the UFT Executive Board to join the boycott or ask teachers to join the picket lines.  Furthermore, Brownsville was frequently ignored by Black civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and Urban League whose Brooklyn chapters were based in nearby Bedford-Stuyvesant and were overall less concerned with the issues of the lower income Blacks who had moved into Brownsville, thus further isolating Brownsville's population. A Viet Cong officer was executed by a South Vietnamese National Police Chief, and it was photographed by Eddie Adams.  The boycotts coincided with unrest due to the April 4 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. During disturbances in JHS 271 three teachers were injured. Margarita Levin letter disputes Felicia R Lee's January 16 Coping column which referred to riots following 1968 assassination of Rev Martin Luther King as civil disobedience (S) The 1968 Chicago riots were sparked by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was shot while standing on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968 at 6:01 pm.  In 1969 some charged that the schools underwent "a purge of militant black teachers". Most of these outside students were Black but some were white; some came long distances to attend the community–controlled schools. Columbia is located in Morningside Heights on the edge of West Harlem, and in 1968, a plan to include the community in a proposed gym building exploded in the university’s face.  Outsiders appreciated the Black school board's attempt to regain control over its own school system. By 1950, their numbers had doubled. It was a turning point in this way." The nomination was withdrawn. , Membership in the American Federation of Teachers, the national union of which the UFT is a part, had increased dramatically during the 1960s, as had the rate of teachers' strikes.  The returning teachers were told to go to an auditorium to meet with Unit Administrator McCoy. , Not all UFT teachers supported the strike, and some actively opposed it with 1,716 union delegates opposing the strike and 12,021 supporting.  The UFT opposed both involuntary assignment and extra incentives for experienced teachers to come to poor schools. The reading skills of the district's eighth graders were shown to have barely improved by the end of their time in ninth grade. At the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, a mere block from where tourists marvel at street performers while eating ice cream, is a site of one of the most brutal riots in New York City history.  Junior High School 271, which became the nexus of the strike, was constructed in 1963 to accommodate Brownsville's expanding population of youth. You will report Friday morning to Personnel, 110 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, for reassignment. The Ocean Hill–Brownsville district lost direct control over its schools; other districts never gained control over their schools.  The new district operated under a separate, community-elected governing board with the power to hire administrators. More than 400,000 New Yorkers participated in a one-day February 3, 1964, boycott, and newspapers were astounded both by the numbers of black and Puerto Rican parents and children who boycotted and by the complete absence of violence or disorder from the protestors. If successful, the experiment could have led to citywide decentralization. The mind-boggling occurrences seemed to come out of nowhere, like the Viet Cong who set off a depth charge beneath the Johnson presidency with the Tet offensive at the end of January.". Under this program class sizes would shrink and teachers would double or triple up for individual classes. Peter Kihss, "Screvane Links Reds to Rioting", The New York Times, 7/22/64; and letters in response on 7/24/64. The UFT won the right to represent NYC teachers for the purpose of collective bargaining in 1961: Sometimes the students were led into a separate room by a co-teacher: They charged the city with incarcerating them necessarily, "Race, Class, and the Triumph of Teacher Unionism", Daniel Perlstein "The dead end of despair: Bayard Rustin, the 1968 New York school crisis, and the struggle for racial justice", "The Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis: New York's Antigone", "Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Fifty Years Later", The Soul That Wanders New York Times January 31, 1988, "Public Schools: Strike's Bitter End," Time, Nov. 29, 1968, Terrorist Organization Profile: Jewish Defense League University of Maryland, News video containing interviews with people involved, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=New_York_City_teachers%27_strike_of_1968&oldid=1002752730, Education labor disputes in the United States, African-American history in New York City, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from October 2012, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 25 January 2021, at 22:16.  A statistical study published in 1974 found that teachers—white and Black—of Black students were significantly more likely to oppose the strike.  Following Brown v. Board, 4000 students in Ocean Hill–Brownsville were bused to white schools, where they complained of mistreatment. Campbell asked Lester "Are you crazy?". arrow  The events surrounding the strike were a factor in the decision by Meir Kahane to form the Jewish Defense League.. The United Federation of Teachers (UFT), led by Albert Shanker, demanded the teachers' reinstatement and accused the community-controlled school board of anti-semitism. This was far from New York's only moment of upheaval during this tumultuous decade.  (At the same time, other teachers were staying off the job as per UFT instructions. New York saw further race- and slavery-related riots in the 19th century like the 1834 New York anti-abolitionist riots. ", In September, the New York Radical Women organized a protest of the Miss America pageant, and as, On Halloween night in Washington Square Park, the Youth International Party sponsored. NASA launched Apollo 8 on December 21st, and on Christmas Eve Americans watched a live broadcast as it became the first spacecraft to orbit the moon and return to Earth.  The union filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and tried to get Campbell fired.  The schools expanded the role of Black and African history and culture in the curriculum.  Some whites on the neighborhood's periphery lobbied with the school board against the building of a new school that would draw a racially diverse population. The Jewish population consistently elected Socialist and American Labor Party candidates to the state assembly and was a strong supporter of unionized labor and collective bargaining.  In total, 83 workers were dismissed from the Ocean Hill–Brownsville district.  When school opened in September 1969, the school district shut itself down for a day in protest of new regulations that deprived it of further autonomy. It escalated to a citywide strike in September of that year, shutting down the public schools for a total of 36 days and increasing racial tensions between Blacks and Jews. Thousands of New York City teachers went on strike in 1968 when the school board of the neighborhood, which is now two separate neighborhoods, transferred a set of teachers and administrators, a normal practice at the time. These changes corresponded to overall increases in segregation and inequality in New York City, as well as to the replacement of blue-collar with white-collar jobs. When the New York Police Department descended upon the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, the violent raid sparked six days of riots and protests—and launched an LGBTQ revolution. From May 22–24, 350 UFT members stayed out of school in protest. On September 9, 1968 93% of the city's 58,000 teachers walked out. Students and teachers returned to a chaotic atmosphere in the fall. Share your email address to get our top stories each day. , Striking teachers were in and out of school during the first weeks of the year, affecting over one million students. They were opposed by Blacks, Latinos, and pro-integration whites, but nevertheless succeeded in functionally limiting the new school's racial makeup.  He was jailed for 15 days in February 1969 for sanctioning the strikes, in contravention of New York's Taylor Law. Margaret Sanger chose Brownsville as the site of America's first birth control clinic because she knew the community would be supportive. , Some members of the school community, as well as the New York Civil Liberties Union, accused Shanker of playing up antisemitism to win sympathy and support. , In 1967, the ATA opposed the UFT directly over the "disruptive child clause", a contract provision that allowed teachers to have children removed from classrooms and placed in special schools. When they refused to vacate their positions, Donovan called in the police. The UFT opposed the new principals denounced the Ocean Hill–Brownsville curriculum, saying that awareness of one's racial heritage would not be helpful in the job market. We're coming up on …  When the city did not grant these powers, the district's parents initiated a boycott of the schools. These urban riots were unplanned and mostly attacked property of white owned businesses rather than people, before this most American riots involved brutal attacks against … As much as the 1960s was a time of vibrancy, culture, and wealth, it was also a time when little cracks started to slip into the background of daily life, usually left unnoticed, warning of the collapse to come. , Around 1960, the neighborhood underwent a rapid demographic shift. In February 1968, some ATA teachers helped to produce a tribute to Malcolm X that presented African music and dance, and glorified Black power; the UFT successfully asked that these teachers be disciplined. , Teachers were taken aback by the level of control exercised by the school board, and many objected to the board's new policies concerning personnel and curriculum. Some schools began to teach Swahili and African counting. University of Pennsylvania Press. , Other parents sent their children to Ocean Hill–Brownsville because the schools there were operational. Citing increased crime and their desire for social mobility, Jews left Brownsville en masse, to be replaced by more Blacks and some Latinos. Pent-up frustrations boiled over in many poor African-American neighborhoods during the mid- to late-1960s, setting off riots that rampaged out of control from block to block. The union defied the new Taylor Law to go out on strike, and more than a million students were not able to attend school during strike days. It began with a one day walkout in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school district. Violence and chaos followed, with blacks flooding out onto the streets of major cities. Lester suggested he read that particular poem. The UFT also sought to cut off the ATA's sources of funding and remove its leaders from the school system. The ATA felt that New York City's teachers and schools perpetuated a system of entrenched racism, and in 1966 it began campaigning actively for community control. This was the real front page headline of the NY Times on that day, but the first half carries a hint of wishful thinking, as 1968 was marked with demonstrations, more racial tension, and assassinations. Rustin and Randolph were shunned from the black community due to their position. It escalated to a citywide strike in September of that year, … 1968.". , In the years before the strike, Brownsville's schools had become extremely overcrowded, and students were attending in shifts. , 70% of the district's new hires were neither Hispanic nor black, and half of these were Jewish. The city's Board of Education and the Ocean Hill–Brownsville board both announced on the same day that the schools would close.. He worked in the city's public school system ever since, as a teacher and then principal of a special needs school. The poem then goes on to say the author is sick about hearing about the Holocaust because it lasted only 15 years compared to the 400 years blacks had been suffering. RW Apple, "Police Defend the Use of Gunfire in Controlling Riots in Harlem", The New York Times, 7/21/64. , Mayor John Lindsay and wealthy business leaders, supported community control as a pathway to social stability. A series of citywide strikes at the start of the 1968 school year shut down the public schools for a total of 36 days.  Under the terms of the decentralization agreement, the teachers were returned to the control of the New York City public school system, where they sat idle in the school district offices. They were said to be instigated by a rally held by the City Wide Student Strike committee organized by Sonny Carson and JHS 271 teacher Leslie Campbell.  It became clear to activists in the 1960s that the Central School Board was uninterested in pursuing mandatory integration; their frustration led them away from desegregation and into the struggle for community control. Nixon, running on a campaign that promised to restore law and order to cities torn by riots and crime, won the Presidential Election. , The newly Black Brownsville neighborhood had few community institutions or economic opportunities. According to historian Jerald Podair, these events also pushed New York's Jewish population into accepting an identity of whiteness, further polarizing race relations in the city. Three school officials are taken hostage for 24 hours. The ATA called for community-controlled schools, educating with a "Black value system" that emphasized "unity" and "collective work and responsibility" (as opposed to the "middle class" value of "individualism"). On February 27th ex-Teenagers singer Frankie Lymon was found dead from a heroin overdose in Harlem.  The TU, which contained active socialist and communist members campaigned actively for racial equality, desegregation, and other radical political goals. The Washington, D.C., riots of 1968 were a four-day period of violent civil unrest and rioting following the assassination of leading African American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., on April 4, 1968. During the week of December 2 disorders by black students were reported in schools in four of the five of the city's boroughs as well in the New York City Subway.  The teachers were nearly unanimously Jewish. At the start of the school year in 1968, the UFT held a strike that shut down New York City's public schools for nearly two months. The incident further divided the Black and Jewish Communities. Chicago “West Side” Race Riots – 1968. , In 1940, Blacks made up 6% of Brownsville's population. , The conflict at Ocean Hill–Brownsville smoldered after the end of the strike. , Shanker called the dismissals "a kind of vigilante activity" and said the schools had neglected due process. The June 1969 riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn marked a raucous turning point in the fight for LGBT rights. , Superintendent Donovan ordered many schools locked; in many places, people smashed windows and broke locks to re-enter their school buildings (sealed by union janitors sympathetic to the strike). All rights reserved. Those two summers were marked by what became known as the York race riots. However, when protesters announced plans to follow up the February 3 boycott with a second one on March 16, the UFT declined to defend boycotting teachers from reprisals. The Board of Education urged the teachers to ignore the letters. On March 26th Joan Baez married activist David Harris in New York. , In April 1968, the administration sought additional control over personnel, finance, and curriculum. I think it's important for people to know the kinds of feelings being aroused in at least one child because of what's happening in Ocean Hill-Brownsville.".  Some called its policies 'race-blind' because it preferred to frame issues in terms of class.  On June 20, these 350 strikers were also dismissed by the governing board. The union, however, declined, promising only to protect from reprisals any teachers who participated. , Residents of Brownsville continued to feel neglected by the city, and in 1970 some staged the "Brownsville Trash Riots". The photo won a Pulitzer Prize, and was part of what began to sway the U.S. public opinion against the war. The Black Panthers march in New York City in protest of the trial of co-founder Huey P. Newton in Oakland, California, on July 22, 1968. The then-New York City Mayor John Lindsay rushed to Harlem to comfort and ... Thousands of young people march through Times Square in New York, April 5, 1968, ... And there was no riot in New York."   Shanker distributed 500,000 copies of a pamphlet some of his members found behind the schools in dispute worded "THE IDEA BEHIND THIS PROGRAM IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT WHEN THE MONEY CHANGERS HEARD ABOUT IT, THEY TOOK OVER, AS IS THEIR CUSTOM IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY", On December 26, 1968, Julius Lester on WBAI radio interviewed Leslie Campbell a history teacher who read a poem written by one of his students entitled "Antisemitism: Dedicated to Albert Shanker" that began with the words "Hey, Jewboy, with that yarmulke on your head / You pale-faced Jew boy – I wish you were dead." Classes were held despite UFT picket lines outside. The strike made it clear that these groups, previously allied in the Civil Rights Movement and the labor movement, would sometimes come into conflict. Washington, DC, took decades to recover from the 1968 riots. , Despite the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board ruling against segregated schools, educational segregation in Brooklyn actually increased in the following years, due to segregationist districting and school construction. , Shanker was routinely branded a racist, and many African-Americans accused the UFT of being 'Jewish-dominated'. Mayor Lindsay was in charge—revisit his Fun City years, The city was still rolling out air conditioned subway cars—, For nine days in February, the city stinks of garbage during. The strike pitted community against union, highlighting a conflict between local rights to self-determination and teachers' universal rights as workers. ", From the 1880s through the 1960s, Brownsville was predominantly Jewish and politically radical. Last night's Mad Men season six premiere was set in December 1967, ending with a shot of Don picking up the paper on the morning of January 1st, 1968—the front page headline reads: "World Bids Adieu To A Violent Year; City Gets Snowfall." One sign displayed in the window of the occupied school read, "Black people control your schools". In the event you wish to question this action, the Governing Board will receive you on Friday, May 10, 1968, at 6:00 P.M., at Intermedia School 55, 2021 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, New York. It was, a newspaper account accurately reported, "the largest civil rights demonstration" in American history, and, Rustin argued that "the movement to integrate the schools will create far-reaching benefits" for teachers as well as students. Songs released that year included The Beatles' "Hey Jude" (this was the year. The New York draft riot was also closely associated with racial competition for jobs.  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