Interview with C. Herbert Oliver

Why was the selection of principals such an important issue in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Experiment?


The selection of principals was exceedingly important because there were no principals in the district, at all, when we began and we felt that we needed, we knew that Black people were capable of running schools. I knew that. I had come from the South where all of the schools were Black and all of them had Black principals. So I didn't feel that, ah, Blacks in the North were incapable of running schools. They could. But somehow the system had shut them out. And I remember hearing Rhody McCoy say that if they went by the selection process of the Board of Examiners it would take, ah, several decades before one Black principal could be chosen because there were 800 or more ahead of them, that is White principals.