Intro::Downtown Community School


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The Downtown Community School was an experimental, cooperative, racially integrated school located on East 11th Street in lower Manhattan, New York City. The school was founded in 1944 and closed in 1971.<ref name="Norman Studer Papers">[1] Norman Studer Papers at Suny Albany</ref>

Notable school reformer and folklorist, Norman Studer, was the director from 1950–1970.<ref name="Norman Studer Papers" /> In the early 1950s, Downtown Community School (DCS) employed a music teacher who had been blacklisted because of his refusal to cooperate with the witch hunting House Unamerican Activities Committee. Unable to get concerts because of the black list, Pete Seeger was hired to teach singing to the unbelievably lucky students of DCS.

In 1963, the school arranged to teach a group of African American students who were protesting their assignment to a racially segregated school.<ref>"34 In Jersey Sit-In Are Taught Here", The New York Times, June 2nd, 1963</ref>

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