Interview with Les Campbell

OK, we're, the fall of '68 there's a strike, ah, could you talk about the feeling of pride, because Ocean Hill-Brownsville, the experimental districts, including Ocean Hill-Brownsville, were the only schools that were open. Could you talk about how it felt to be able to--?


Well, it felt great! We had out-foxed Albert Shanker, we had outmaneuvered the United Federation of Teachers, ah, we had shown that this downtrodden community, faced with a crisis, using its own resources, could overcome. And, ah, there was a feeling of jubilation. And the parents and community were so much behind us, and so supportive of us, this made it feel that much more exhilarating to know that we had community support. I used to walk through the streets of Ocean Hill at that time, and it was so beautiful. Parents used to come up and tell me to come in their house and have some fish, or have some chicken, or have some coffee, or have a cold drink. These were parents who were pouring out their heart to people who they felt were doing something to educate their children.