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The Fight For Dyett: What It Teaches Us and Why It Matters


The Fight For Dyett: What It Teaches Us and Why It Matters

Ujju Aggarwal, Renee Hatcher

On Saturday, a group of parents, grandparents, teachers, and community members ended a historic 34-day hunger strike Their cause? To save what is the last open enrollment public high school in the historic Bronzeville community in Chicago, Walter H. Dyett High School. Several strikers had been hospitalized; one collapsed at a recent Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board Meeting. The chief medical officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health, Dr. Linda Rae Murray urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to negotiate with the strikers. Other prominent physicians echoed her calls.


Using so-called education to promote racist policies has a long history in the USA and this is more of the same. Best of success in this courageous effort for something that I fear will be radically different if the CPS decides to keep the doors open. What goes on inside will also be targeted so that a 'win' for the people can be undermined. The caring parents and locals will have to be vigilant for a long time as this is not likely a single battle.


I live in Houston, Texas. The white school a mile or so from my house is made of stone with ceramic tile floors. The minority school about a mile from my house is made of corrugated metal with linoleum floors. Both were built in the last 5 to 10 years. Racism is still happening here.