For some time now I have been teaching in a Harlem elementary school and trying to understand the attitudes shown by the parents toward the school. Last September, the teachers’ strike forced me to speculate on how the hostilities of a minority and the passivity of the majority fit together.
After Labor Day, the season was on for community protest meetings. One night I found myself among a hundred Negro and Puerto Rican women on Manhattan’s West Side. I was torn between sympathetic admiration at their determination to do “something” and irritation at the perversity of that “something.” Vengefulness and suspicious fury had dulled their ability to distinguish targets. Anything said against schools...
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