The 1968 Ocean Hill-Brownsville teachers strikes pitted teachers and parents against each other. But they didn't have to. Teachers and parents today can avoid those past mistakes and create coalitions against racism and austerity.
Clarence Taylor is a professor of history and black and Latino studies at Baruch College and professor of history at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author of several books including Knocking At Our Own Door: Milton A. Galamison and the Struggle to Integrate New York City Schools and Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights, and the New York City Teachers Union.
The New York Board of Education and teachers unions' refusal to fight racism in public education was responsible for the 1968 Ocean Hill-Brownsville crisis, not Black Power.