Dr. Leslie Fenwick gave the Diane Silvers Ravitch Lecture at Wellesley College a few weeks ago. It was just posted online. Dr. Fenwick is the Dean Emeritus at Howard University. She began her career as a teacher. Among her current affiliations: the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the National Museum of African American History at the Smithsonian, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.

Dr. Fenwick spoke about the after-effects of the Brown decision on Black professionals. When Southern states were compelled to integrate, tens of thousands of Black teachers and principals were fired and replaced by white teachers and principals with lesser qualifications. She documents these events in her new book Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principal and Teacher Leadership. It is really the “untold story of the disappearance of Black principals and teachers.”

Dr. Fenwick was the runner-up to Miguel Cardona in the Biden administration’s selection of Secretary of Education. She is a strong supporter of experienced teachers, experienced principals, and well-resourced public schools. She is critical of corporate reform. After watching this lecture, you should watch her dissect corporate reform in this one, “Looking Behind the Veil of School Reform.” It is the country’s loss not having her at the helm now, speaking out eloquently and forcefully against ignorance, bigotry and greed.

In a week or so, this lecture will be posted on the archive of online lectures at the college, including this lecture series, which has included internationally renowned scholars such as Pasi Sahlberg and Yong Zhao.