April 25, 2008
Ocean Hill-Brownsville, 40 Years Later
The lessons of the New York City school strike
They were the pink slips that helped change American liberalism.
Forty years ago — on May 9, 1968 — the local school board in Brooklyn's black ghetto of Ocean Hill-Brownsville sent telegrams to 19 unionized educators, informing them that their employment in the district was terminated. Eighteen were white. One black teacher was mistakenly included on the list but reinstated almost immediately after the error