Lunch & Learn: Black Education and the Philadelphia Teacher Strikes

December 5, 2019 - 11:45am to 1:15pm

4303 Wesley W. Posvar Hall

230 S. Bouquet St. Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Featuring Camika Royal


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Between 1968 and 1982, there were eight strikes, or threats of strikes, between the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the School District of Philadelphia. As the teachers’ union aligned itself with a mayor and police force that were widely regarded as racist, Black educators increasingly withdrew their support from the union and looked for other ways to support Black students’ academic success. Using Critical Race Theory’s tenet of racial realism, our event speaker will draw on the oral histories and interviews of Black Philadelphia educators, public accounts, and data from the school district’s meeting minutes. The analysis will explore the tensions and alliances of the time, which ultimately led to Philadelphia hiring its first Black superintendent of schools.