Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ernest Thompson, Orange Organizer

My father, Ernest Thompson, was an organizer in Orange, NJ. He began his work there in 1957, when he started a campaign to desegregate the schools. This led to a successful effort to secure political representation for the black community. He and his colleagues used the power they had won to fight for quality education for all children. He said, at the outset of the school fight, "If we do not fight for all children, we will not fight at all." His commitment to inclusion helped to shape a better city. Thompson's life and work were celebrated at this year's Black History Month observation at Orange Middle School. Here is a film that was made for the occasion. The story of his organizing is told in the book, "Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People's Power."

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