Episode 6: Testimony

I will remember those who fought for racially integrated schools in a segregated nation.
— Sabrina

The students I interview often tell me that most of their peers do not think of their schools as segregated. "School is school," they say. Or, "White kids just don't live around here." 

When it comes to school segregation, its antecedents and its present symptoms, there is a major awareness gap among the public as well. That's why we are ending the season with testimony from a dozen high schoolers in the student-led group Teens Take Charge, which we help facilitate. Who better to educate us about this issue than the ones experiencing it every day?

Here is a list of featured students, in order of appearance:

  • Jederick Estrella | Victory Collegiate High School (intro)
  • Hebh Jamal | City College
  • Whitney Stephenson and Nelson Luna | Democracy Prep Charter High School
  • Marquies Smith | The Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice
  • Muhammad Deen | Victory Collegiate High School
  • David Coghiel | Explorations Academy High School
  • Shenir Dennis | Vanguard High School
  • Taiwo Fayemi | Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists
  • Wyatt Perez | Eagle Academy for Young Men
  • Chantell Osei | Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists
  • Brianna Flores | Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies
  • Sabrina DuQuesnay | Brooklyn College Academy



Former sharecropper Fannie Lou Hamer's testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention is so powerful that President Johnson calls an impromptu press conference to get her off the air. But his plan backfires. Watch "Freedom Summer" on American Experience PBS.

In this segment of "This Is America," journalist and child activist Jonathan Kozol discusses his 2005 book, "The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America." Kozol pushes us to launch a "new civil rights movement" to address school segregation.

Taylor McGraw