North Division High School, Boycott (March 28, 1966)

In 1966, members of the Milwaukee United School Integration Committee (MUSIC) planned a one-day student boycott at Milwaukee’s North Division High School. The school was located on West Center Street in a predominantly black neighborhood and had 99.6% black enrollment. MUSIC wanted to boycott the school because of the school’s racial imbalance. MUSIC members felt that the school was not given the same resources that predominately white schools enjoyed. MUSIC had previously sponsored two city-wide school boycotts, one in May 1964, and a three-day boycott in October 1965. On the day of the North Division boycott, about 492 students were absent from school. North Division students helped plan the boycott and also selected the date on which it would take place. MUSIC set up three Freedom Schools, which served as alternative schools that boycotting students could attend. The Freedom Schools were held at St. Matthew’s Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, located on North 9th Street; St. George’s Episcopal Church, located on West Center Street; and the Badger Elks Club, located on North Third Street. The North Division High School boycott was the final boycott sponsored by MUSIC. EM