Freedom Schools

neu_rx914216pOne of the biggest attempts at community control was the creation of Freedom Schools, initially developed for Freedom Stay-Out days to replace the schooling that student-participants were missing. The Mass Freedom movement began organizing parents in Roxbury schools, but many members began to think that the best approach might be to start schools themselves. Along with standard coursework, students would be taught lessons on “non-violence, Negro History, the Freedom Movement and civil responsibility.”

Check-In at a Freedom School hosted for the February 26, 1964 Freedom Stay-Out Day.
Bay State Banner article announcing the opening of the Community School.
Bay State Banner article announcing the opening of the New School for Children in 1966.
Press Release by James Breenan announcing the opening of a Freedom School.
Press Release by James Breedan announcing the start of night school classes held by the Massachusetts Freedom Movement.

The Roxbury Community School opened in 1966, and the New School for Children opened that same year. Launched by Noel Day, James Breeden, and Anson Phelps Stokes, the New School aimed to be a “truly public-responsive to the public it serves,” independent school for impoverished students. On its staff was Jonathan Kozol, a white teacher who became famous after he was fired from a Dorchester school for teaching a Langston Hughes poem to his class.