Interview with Les Campbell

OK, could you talk about how the strike brought the Black community together all over New York? You said now, finally, Harlem, you know, Bed-Stuy, could you just talk about all those districts coming together and talk about national leaders that came in during this fall of '68 strike?


Yes, well, the strike was a unifying factor in the Black community. Groups that had previously been at each others' throat found themselves together at rallies, at meetings surrounding Ocean Hill. It was an issue that, whether you were CORE, or the NAACP, or the Urban League, or the Black Panther Party, or the Republic of New Africa you could rally around this community issue. Everybody understood the importance of Black children receiving a quality education**. And all organizations were willing to rally in support of Ocean Hill-[ Brownville ]Brownsville. I don't think there's been an issue in New York City that has gotten the total support of all elements of the Black community as this educational issue. Whether it's been the appointment of Dr. Thomas Minter as chancellor of the public schools, or whether it's been a demand for Black educators, or more Black supervisors, or whether it's been the support for Ocean Hill. There hasn't been an issue in New York City that has united our community than the education issue.