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School Colors

Brooklyn Deep

12
Followers
88
Plays
School Colors

School Colors

Brooklyn Deep

12
Followers
88
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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About Us

School Colors is a narrative podcast from Brooklyn Deep about how race, class, and power shape American cities and schools.

Latest Episodes

Trailer

Bedford-Stuyvesant is one of the most iconic historically Black neighborhoods in the United States. Community School District 16 covers about half of Bed-Stuy. And almost every school in District 16 is hemorrhaging kids. Something is wrong. But today’s crisis is just the latest chapter in a story that goes back 200 years. Black people have been fighting for self-determination through their schools for as long as there have been Black children here in Central Brooklyn. This is School Colors: a new podcast from Brooklyn Deep about how race, class, and power shape American cities and schools.

3 min2019 SEP 6
Comments
Trailer

Episode 1: Old School

EBedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is one of the most iconic historically Black neighborhoods in the United States. But Bed-Stuy is changing. Fifty years ago, schools in Bed-Stuy's District 16 were so overcrowded that students went to school in shifts. Today, they're half-empty. Why? In trying to answer that question, we discovered that the biggest, oldest questions we have as a country about race, class, and power have been tested in the schools of Central Brooklyn for as long as there have been Black children here. And that's a long, long time. In this episode, we visit the site of a free Black settlement in Brooklyn founded in 1838; speak to one of the first Black principals in New York City; and find out why half a million students mobilized in support of school integration couldn’t force the Board of Education to produce a citywide plan.

43 min2019 SEP 20
Comments
Episode 1: Old School

Episode 2: Power to the People

EIn the late 1960s, the Central Brooklyn neighborhood of Ocean Hill-Brownsville was at the center of a bold experiment in community control of public schools. But as Black and Puerto Rican parents in Ocean Hill-Brownsville tried to exercise power over their schools, they collided headfirst with the teachers’ union — leading to the longest teachers’ strike in American history, 51 years ago this fall. What started as a local pilot project turned into one of the most divisive racial confrontations ever witnessed in New York City. Ocean Hill-Brownsville made the national news for months, shattered political coalitions and created new ones, and fundamentally shaped the city we live in today.

54 min2019 SEP 27
Comments
Episode 2: Power to the People

Episode 3: Third Strike

EIn the fall of 1968, New York City teachers went on strike three times, in reaction to an experiment in community control of schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn. The third strike was the longest, and the ugliest. The movement for community control tapped into a powerful desire among Black and brown people across New York City to educate their own. But the backlash was ferocious. The confrontation at Ocean Hill-Brownsville fractured the connection between teachers and families, between the labor movement and the civil rights movement, between Black and Jewish New Yorkers. Some of these wounds have never really healed. But as the strike dragged on for seven weeks, schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville were open for business. And for many students there, the experience was life-changing.

60 min2019 OCT 4
Comments
Episode 3: Third Strike

Episode 4: "Agitate! Educate! Organize!"

EIn the wake of the 1968 teachers’ strikes, Black people in Central Brooklyn continued to fight for self-determination in education -- both inside and outside of the public school system. Some veterans of the community control movement started an independent school called Uhuru Sasa Shule, or "Freedom Now School," part of a pan-African cultural center called The East. Other Black educators tried to work within the new system of local school boards, despite serious flaws baked into the design. Both of these experiments in self-government struggled to thrive in a city that was literally crumbling all around them. But they have left a lasting mark on this community.

56 min2019 OCT 11
Comments
Episode 4: "Agitate! Educate! Organize!"

Episode 5: The Disappearing District

ESince 2002, the number of students in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 has dropped by more than half. There’s no single reason why this is happening, but the year 2002 is a clue: that’s when Michael Bloomberg became the Mayor, abolished local school boards, and took over the New York City school system. In this episode, we’ll meet parents trying to reassert collective power and local accountability in District 16 after years of neglect from the Department of Education; parents trying to save their school from being closed for persistently low enrollment; and parents trying to do what they believe is best for their children by leaving the district altogether. In a Black community that has struggled for self-determination through education for nearly 200 years, what does self-determination look like today?

59 min2019 OCT 25
Comments
Episode 5: The Disappearing District

Episode 6: Mo' Charters Mo' Problems

EIf you ask most people in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 why they think enrollment is falling, chances are they’ll point to charter schools: privately managed public schools, which have been on the rise in New York City for more than a decade. Charter schools were originally dreamed up to be laboratories for innovation in public education. Instead, many see them as a threat — competing with neighborhood schools for space, resources, and kids. Is this really a zero-sum game? In this episode, we talk to parents and educators on both sides of the district-charter divide to explore why charter schools seem especially polarizing in a Black neighborhood like Bed-Stuy, and what the growth of charter schools means for the future of this community.

59 min2019 NOV 9
Comments
Episode 6: Mo' Charters Mo' Problems

Episode 7: New Kids on the Block

EGentrification is reshaping cities all over the country: more affluent people, often but not always white, are moving into historically Black and brown neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant. But even as the population of Bed-Stuy has been growing in numbers and wealth, the schools of District 16 have been starved for students and resources. That’s because a lot of people moving into the neighborhood either don’t have kids, or send their kids to school outside the district. In this episode, a group of parents who are new to Bed-Stuy try to organize their peers to enroll and invest in local schools, only to find that what looks like investment to some feels like colonization to others.

59 min2019 NOV 22
Comments
Episode 7: New Kids on the Block

Episode 8: On the Move

EDespite New York City's progressive self-image, our dirty secret is that we have one of the most deeply segregated school systems in the country. But with gentrification forcing the issue, school integration is back on the table for the first time in decades. How do we not totally screw it up? And what does this mean for the long struggle for Black self-determination in Central Brooklyn? We’ve spent a lot of time on the past. In this episode, we look to the future.

59 min2019 DEC 6
Comments
Episode 8: On the Move

Bonus: A Night at the Library

EIn this bonus episode, recorded live at the Brooklyn Public Library, producers Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman talk with Christina Veiga, a reporter from Chalkbeat. They are joined by a special guest: NeQuan McLean, president of the Community Education Council for District 16. Their conversation digs deeper into some of the themes of the show, and pulls back the curtain on how Mark and Max created School Colors -- and where it's going next.

74 min2019 DEC 20
Comments
Bonus: A Night at the Library

Latest Episodes

Trailer

Bedford-Stuyvesant is one of the most iconic historically Black neighborhoods in the United States. Community School District 16 covers about half of Bed-Stuy. And almost every school in District 16 is hemorrhaging kids. Something is wrong. But today’s crisis is just the latest chapter in a story that goes back 200 years. Black people have been fighting for self-determination through their schools for as long as there have been Black children here in Central Brooklyn. This is School Colors: a new podcast from Brooklyn Deep about how race, class, and power shape American cities and schools.

3 min2019 SEP 6
Comments
Trailer

Episode 1: Old School

EBedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is one of the most iconic historically Black neighborhoods in the United States. But Bed-Stuy is changing. Fifty years ago, schools in Bed-Stuy's District 16 were so overcrowded that students went to school in shifts. Today, they're half-empty. Why? In trying to answer that question, we discovered that the biggest, oldest questions we have as a country about race, class, and power have been tested in the schools of Central Brooklyn for as long as there have been Black children here. And that's a long, long time. In this episode, we visit the site of a free Black settlement in Brooklyn founded in 1838; speak to one of the first Black principals in New York City; and find out why half a million students mobilized in support of school integration couldn’t force the Board of Education to produce a citywide plan.

43 min2019 SEP 20
Comments
Episode 1: Old School

Episode 2: Power to the People

EIn the late 1960s, the Central Brooklyn neighborhood of Ocean Hill-Brownsville was at the center of a bold experiment in community control of public schools. But as Black and Puerto Rican parents in Ocean Hill-Brownsville tried to exercise power over their schools, they collided headfirst with the teachers’ union — leading to the longest teachers’ strike in American history, 51 years ago this fall. What started as a local pilot project turned into one of the most divisive racial confrontations ever witnessed in New York City. Ocean Hill-Brownsville made the national news for months, shattered political coalitions and created new ones, and fundamentally shaped the city we live in today.

54 min2019 SEP 27
Comments
Episode 2: Power to the People

Episode 3: Third Strike

EIn the fall of 1968, New York City teachers went on strike three times, in reaction to an experiment in community control of schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn. The third strike was the longest, and the ugliest. The movement for community control tapped into a powerful desire among Black and brown people across New York City to educate their own. But the backlash was ferocious. The confrontation at Ocean Hill-Brownsville fractured the connection between teachers and families, between the labor movement and the civil rights movement, between Black and Jewish New Yorkers. Some of these wounds have never really healed. But as the strike dragged on for seven weeks, schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville were open for business. And for many students there, the experience was life-changing.

60 min2019 OCT 4
Comments
Episode 3: Third Strike

Episode 4: "Agitate! Educate! Organize!"

EIn the wake of the 1968 teachers’ strikes, Black people in Central Brooklyn continued to fight for self-determination in education -- both inside and outside of the public school system. Some veterans of the community control movement started an independent school called Uhuru Sasa Shule, or "Freedom Now School," part of a pan-African cultural center called The East. Other Black educators tried to work within the new system of local school boards, despite serious flaws baked into the design. Both of these experiments in self-government struggled to thrive in a city that was literally crumbling all around them. But they have left a lasting mark on this community.

56 min2019 OCT 11
Comments
Episode 4: "Agitate! Educate! Organize!"

Episode 5: The Disappearing District

ESince 2002, the number of students in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 has dropped by more than half. There’s no single reason why this is happening, but the year 2002 is a clue: that’s when Michael Bloomberg became the Mayor, abolished local school boards, and took over the New York City school system. In this episode, we’ll meet parents trying to reassert collective power and local accountability in District 16 after years of neglect from the Department of Education; parents trying to save their school from being closed for persistently low enrollment; and parents trying to do what they believe is best for their children by leaving the district altogether. In a Black community that has struggled for self-determination through education for nearly 200 years, what does self-determination look like today?

59 min2019 OCT 25
Comments
Episode 5: The Disappearing District

Episode 6: Mo' Charters Mo' Problems

EIf you ask most people in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 why they think enrollment is falling, chances are they’ll point to charter schools: privately managed public schools, which have been on the rise in New York City for more than a decade. Charter schools were originally dreamed up to be laboratories for innovation in public education. Instead, many see them as a threat — competing with neighborhood schools for space, resources, and kids. Is this really a zero-sum game? In this episode, we talk to parents and educators on both sides of the district-charter divide to explore why charter schools seem especially polarizing in a Black neighborhood like Bed-Stuy, and what the growth of charter schools means for the future of this community.

59 min2019 NOV 9
Comments
Episode 6: Mo' Charters Mo' Problems

Episode 7: New Kids on the Block

EGentrification is reshaping cities all over the country: more affluent people, often but not always white, are moving into historically Black and brown neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant. But even as the population of Bed-Stuy has been growing in numbers and wealth, the schools of District 16 have been starved for students and resources. That’s because a lot of people moving into the neighborhood either don’t have kids, or send their kids to school outside the district. In this episode, a group of parents who are new to Bed-Stuy try to organize their peers to enroll and invest in local schools, only to find that what looks like investment to some feels like colonization to others.

59 min2019 NOV 22
Comments
Episode 7: New Kids on the Block

Episode 8: On the Move

EDespite New York City's progressive self-image, our dirty secret is that we have one of the most deeply segregated school systems in the country. But with gentrification forcing the issue, school integration is back on the table for the first time in decades. How do we not totally screw it up? And what does this mean for the long struggle for Black self-determination in Central Brooklyn? We’ve spent a lot of time on the past. In this episode, we look to the future.

59 min2019 DEC 6
Comments
Episode 8: On the Move

Bonus: A Night at the Library

EIn this bonus episode, recorded live at the Brooklyn Public Library, producers Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman talk with Christina Veiga, a reporter from Chalkbeat. They are joined by a special guest: NeQuan McLean, president of the Community Education Council for District 16. Their conversation digs deeper into some of the themes of the show, and pulls back the curtain on how Mark and Max created School Colors -- and where it's going next.

74 min2019 DEC 20
Comments
Bonus: A Night at the Library
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