Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Good morning. Today is the 120th day of the year. On this day in 1892, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on a protest meeting by African-American parents against the exclusion of their children from a new public school, P.S. 68 on Bergen Street and Schenectady Avenue. The parents told the Eagle that the school was a descendant of an all-black school known as Colored School No. 2, headquartered in a ramshackle wooden building on Troy Avenue. The parents had been successful in removing the name “colored,” which they saw as a stigma, from the school.
When the Brooklyn Board of Education purchased the new location for the school, they originally announced that it would be a school “for both white and colored children, but this plan did not please the white residents.” The board then announced that the black children would have to continue to go to the “old shanty” on Troy Avenue. Leaders of the protest blamed the one of the members of the board, who allowed “his prejudice against the colored race” to influence his decision. A white minister from a nearby church supported the parents, saying, “A public school should be open to all, regardless of color or nationality.”
Well-known people who were born today include singer Willie Nelson (“Hello Walls,” “You Were Always on My Mind,” “Stardust”), basketball coach and Hall of Fame player Isiah Thomas, writer-actor Burt Young and actress Kirsten Dunst.