Interview with Rhody McCoy

OK. Could you talk about the slow pullout of some of the establishment forces? The Ford Foundation's pullout of Ocean Hill-Brownsville, that their decision not to support it at the same level you were expecting. And then finally the school board's pulling out of support.


Well there's, there's so many, ah, dimensions of, of withdrawal of various entities. I don't believe the Ford Foundation ever pulled out. Ah, this is my personal version. Ah, for instance I'm sure that they continued to fund, ah, Dr. Kenneth Clark's organization, I think it was called MARK[SIC]. Ah, and Dr. Clark was instrumental in working with us in Ocean Hill-Brownsville for a long time. Ah, he did not have or enjoy the, the welcome that he should have because the community was suspicious of, of, ah, of, ah, researchers, let's use that word, even though he was Black, ah, ah, and that Ken Clark was a, I guess, an integrationist, for lack of a better word. So, ah, also, ah, Mario Fantini personally worked with Bernie Donovan to help us move, ah, Boys' High into the complex. So even though dollars weren't forthcoming, ah, ah, people, i.e. the Ford Foundation representative Mario Fantini, stayed with the program. So, there's some misconception that people pulled out. Ah, there were two or three laywers groups, legal groups and Morts Davis'[SIC] group that, ah, never came in with, with a price tag on 'em, they just came in and participated and helped us. The school system, ah, that the, Bernie Donovan's group pulled out, ah, and, and I don't want to, I, it's impossible for me to tell you why they pulled out but, ah, I think they pulled out under pressure from the union. They had to see the experiment fold. And what was happening was that they were moving towards this "decentralization."