Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense

8-4-2014

Graduate Advisor

Matthew D. Davis, PhD

Committee

Joyce Mushaben

Hoagland, Carl

Weathersby, Claude

Abstract

Within St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS), Black teachers taught on the north side of the city, while the White teachers taught on the south side. Because of the divide within teaching locations, there followed a larger rift between teacher organizations. The National Education Association (NEA) before the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling (1954) did not affiliate themselves with Black teachers whereas the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) was supportive of the integration of civil rights from the beginning. In the years from the Brown ruling until 1980, St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) had two teacher organizations the St. Louis Teachers’ Association, predominately White and the St. Louis Teachers Union-Local # 420, predominately Black union. During the St. Louis Public School teachers’ strike of 1973, the teacher organizations were divided, but then decided that it was best to unite as one when entering the strike of 1979. This was partly because African American teachers transferred to schools in south St. Louis. This study examined historical race relations between the AFT, the NEA, and Black teachers and how their history influenced the 1973 and 1979 St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) teacher strikes. The archival information, newspaper clippings and existing literature obtained did not paint a complete picture of the strikes. However, using Critical Race Theory (CRT) helped in depicting the racial dynamics that existed within teacher organizations and their relationship with Black teachers.

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