Learning From the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Teachers Strike That Changed New York


    It was 50 years ago that a clash between the Ocean Hill-Brownsville community and the United Federation of Teachers brought to head the educational imbalance in New York City.

    The fight over community control of schools centered around JHS 271, now IS 271 at 1137 Herkimer Street, but would ultimately grow into a citywide strike. To understand the events of the 1968-1969 school year, the Brooklyn Historical Society is gathering front-line participants and an education scholar for a timely conversation.

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    Brooklyn students at P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights in the 1960s. Photo by Marion S. Trikosko via Library of Congress

    Charles Isaacs, a former teacher and author of “Inside Ocean Hill–Brownsville A Teacher’s Education, 1968-1969,” and Monifa Edwards, a student at JHS 271 at the time, will be sharing memories of the tumultuous time. Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director of Brooklyn Movement Center, will be moderating the discussion, which will also include Heather Lewis, author of “New York City Public Schools from Brownsville to Bloomberg: The Community Control Movement and its Legacy.”

    The talk will take place on Monday, January 14 at BHS at 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for general admission and free for BHS Members. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

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