Once again, BlackParentSpeaks is experiencing a ‘moment’ of sadness and loneliness and anger….
My sadness and loneliness is due to the ‘passing’ of a dear dear friend and co-patriot — Mrs. Lurene (Dixon) Campbell. My anger is due to the continual presence of racism and discrimination that ‘Black’ Mrs. (Dixon) Campbell faced while working in Portland (Oregon) Public Schools specifically.
BlackParentSpeaks met ‘Black’ Mrs. (Dixon) Campbell many years back (c.1990) by way of Portland (Oregon) Public Schools. Lurene was transferred to work at Portland’s ‘racist and White’ Grant High School and became Integration Specialist at Grant. Almost immediately, we became ‘Sisters-in-the-struggle’ to hold Portland’s ‘racist’ Grant High School accountable to its ‘Black’ and other ‘marginalized’ students.
UNsurprising to both of US, racist ‘White’ threats and acts against our comfort and safety ensued. In at least one instance, a ‘White’ teacher at Grant attempted to recruit students in his class to harm both Lurene and I and particular Black students present at the school. Immediately upon ‘learning’ of the violent nature of the teacher’s ‘intent’, I and Lurene personally ‘encouraged’ the teacher to both privately and publicly back off!
Near the end of my/our confrontation with the ‘White’ teacher, the teacher expressed emotional remorse, apologized tearfully, and both privately and publicly called-off his ‘recruitment’ of students to do US harm, etc. That incident is but one of the many many many racists situations Lurene, I, and other Black adults, and Black students dealt with and/or handled at Portland Public Schools Grant High.
My words to Mrs. Lurene (Dixon) Campell are simple –
(Mrs. Dixon) Lurene: YOU fought and fought for US throughout your years with Portland (Oregon) Public Schools. Many establishment folk who ran — and continue to run — this inherently racist school system tried to shut you down. You remained strong and determined and did NOT give in. Instead, you continued to remain true to your Blackness and to our ‘Black’ young people and other ‘marginalized’ students in spite of the costs to your career, etc. I will always and forever love you. WE fought the ‘good’ fight and we won….
Feel free to share this BlackAngryWomen blog with others.
We are all works in progress. Do YOU know what time it is? http://BlackAngryWomen.com/
Undying love for Black people!
Teacher and School Leader Remembered
Lurene Patrah Campbell
6/27/2017, 10:52 a.m.
Lurene Patrah Campbell, a retired educator and school administrator, is being remembered after she passed away on May 8, 2017.
She was a native of Texas and graduated from Macedonia High School in Texarkana, Texas as valedictorian for the Class of 1963. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Huston–Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. She also received many certifications and a Master of Science in Education from Oregon State University. She was a member of the Delta Theta Sigma Sorority.
She began working for Portland Public Schools as a biology teacher in 1968 and taught at Marshall and Jackson High schools from 1968 to 1985. In 1986, she worked in the Director of Instruction Office as a science resource teacher for the Franklin-Marshall Cluster. During the years of 1987- 1991, she held several different administrative and teaching positions within the school district.
She was part of the staff involved when the Portland schools carried out Desegregation Implementation Plans. She worked in the school district’s public information and communications office and was coordinator of cultural diversity reports for state and federal compliance. She retired from Portland Public Schools in 2006, but remained active in the community.
She was a long time and active member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, serving in a variety of positions. Later she supported the Northwest Voices for Christ Ministries and served as a minister and spiritual counselor.
She was loved by so many people and will be dearly missed.