Interview with Albert Shanker
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

Okay, you were talking about the Meredith March and that point, that time, in, in the movement and how it effects you.

ALBERT SHANKER:

Well to me this was, ah, this was in a sense a result of the frustrations, ah, they came out, to me--

INTERVIEWER:

Rephrase the, just say what you're talking about again. Once again.

ALBERT SHANKER:

Well the, the issue was whether this move of developing our community school district in Ocean Hill-Brownsville was part of, whether I saw it as part of the Civil Rights Movement. I must say at the time that I, that I didn't see it as part of the Civil Rights Movement. To me the Civil Rights Movement was a movement for integration and a movement to, ah, eliminate desegregation. In a sense this represented a kind of backward step. It represented a step by, by people in the community saying, "We've given up on integration so we want to take hold of our own schools." And it represented a move by the union saying, "Okay, we're willing to work to help you improve your own schools." So it was, ah, I, I just viewed it as, as being something which was, ah, ah a very different turn, a very different from what the Civil Rights Movement had represented, and I, I didn't, I didn't feel that it was, it was part of that movement. And in it's, in it's most extreme manifestation such as, ah, such as IS-201 which had taken place just before that, ah, I felt that it ran counter to the Civil Rights Movement because it was a movement that demanded that, ah, instead of demanding integration and demanding a kind of, ah, ah, a movement away from color consciousness, that decisions were about to be made on the basis of color, except that here, a person who was White couldn't be principal.