Interview with C. Herbert Oliver

Okay. It's been a--it's been alleged that the, the Governing Board was run by extremists. Um, Cou-could you say, in what way was the Governing Board influenced by, really, just the currents of the day and what, and what, what were the limits? I mean, if you could give me a story or an example of, of the thinking of the Governing Board at that time, Black consciousness?


The Governing Board of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville district was, ah, not run by extremists unless you wish to consider me an extremist or McCoy. Ah, my interest was only in education. And I believe that was McCoy's interest also. I believe that was the interest of the parents on the Governing Board and all people serving on the Governing Board. We were not extremists. There were extremists in the community who wished to, ah, to take control of things but we stayed to the issue of education. There was a time when representatives from the Republic of New Africa, ah, came and requested a meeting with the Governing Board. And we gave them an audience. And they wanted us to separate from the United States and declare Ocean Hill-Brownsville an independent state and to apply to the United Nations for membership. And our response was immediate, that we were not elected to set up a new nation. We were elected only to run the schools. And if we attempted to set up a new nation, the people who elected us would be the first to say, "Get out of here. We didn't elect you for that purpose." So, we didn't, we couldn't go along with that.