Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2011 Ari Pomerantz. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department, Educational Studies Department

First Advisor

Shane Minkin

Second Advisor

Bruce Dorsey


This research paper examines the organizing work of “The Modern Strivers”, a group of black high-school students from Washington D.C.’s Eastern Public High School, between the years of 1967-1969. Following in the legacy of the Black Freedom Struggle’s democratic organizing tradition and harnessing the creativity and intellectual exuberance of the late 1960’s surging Black Nationalism, the Strivers designed and established their own semi-autonomous Freedom School, while continuing to fight for relevant curricula and greater black community control at Eastern High. The Strivers’ organizing demonstrates that youth of color were key thinkers and actors within the Black Power movement of Washington, D.C., who used their experiential knowledge of the failures and violences of D.C.’s public school system in order to create meaningful, community-based educational reform.


Co-recipient of the Robert S. DuPlessis Prize, awarded in 2012.