Interview with Les Campbell

Why, why did you feel it was necessary, you plural, why did you feel it was necessary to form an African-American Teachers Association? How did it come about?


Well, I was a young teacher in the 1960s, having entered the school system in 1962, and, ah, myself and people like Albert Vann and Dorothy Joseph and Marcia Goldman, Audrey Williams, we were all new teachers and we, ah, began to notice a lot of injustices in the school system, internally, from the point of view of teachers. We began to see behind the scenes what went on, and how the mised--miseducation of our children was not just a mistake but was calculated and, ah, perpetuated. And so we began to talk about the need for an organization of Black teachers to take some affirmative action on behalf of our children and to begin to do some things that would help to, ah, push the educational process of Black children along in the inner cities. And, ah, eventually this type of thinking led us to come together as a group which was the African-American Teachers Association.