School Colors Eps 7: New Kids On The Block

Gentrification 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 […]

Third Rail Eps 57: Inside School Colors

Guest Host: Anthonine Pierre Studio Guests: Max Freedman and Mark Winston Griffith On this special edition of Third Rail, Anthonine Pierre steps into the host chair and interviews Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman, the co-hosts and co-producers of the documentary podcast, School Colors. Representing Brooklyn Deep’s most ambitious project today, School Colors is a […]

School Colors Ep. 6: Mo’ Charters Mo’ Problems

If 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. […]

School Colors Ep. 5: The Disappearing District

Since 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 […]

School Colors Ep. 4: “Agitate! Educate! Organize!”

In 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 […]

School Colors Ep. 3: Third Strike

In 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 […]

School Colors Ep. 2: Power to the People

In 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’ […]

School Colors Ep. 1: Old School

Bedford-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 […]

Third Rail Eps 56: Tenant Matters

In this episode of Third Rail we focus on those in Central Brooklyn who are on the front line of gentrification: tenants and renters. This past June, Governor Cuomo signed into law a sweeping new collection of rent regulations which re-set the bar for tenant protections and curtailed the power of landlords to dictate rates […]

Third Rail Eps 55: A Plant Grows in Brooklyn

Cannabis or Marijuana use in a Black area like Central Brooklyn has always been a complex issue. While many people call marijuana use a “gateway” to heavier drug addiction, the reality is, getting picked up by the police for distributing or using weed has been a gateway to the criminal justice system. In this episode […]