Howard Pollack

As Interviewed by Sydney Simmons, March 21, 2018

Howard Pollack: In His Own Words

Milwaukee was in 1976 one of the most segregated residential areas in the North.

I worked with an attorney named Irv Charney who in 1976 was appointed to represent to school children of Milwaukee in a suit to desegregate the Milwaukee school systems. The lawsuit started in 1965 and was brought by and attorney named Lloyd Barbee, and in January 1976 the judge who had tried that lawsuit ruled that the school system of Milwaukee was illegally segregated. He appointed Irv Charney to represent the school children in the proceedings that would come afterwards. I had graduated from law school three years earlier, and Irv Charney asked me to help him in connection with that lawsuit.

It was important because it was a big case for me because it was 1976, I was three years out of law school, this was the biggest news in the city of Milwaukee at the time, so it was a big and important case, I learned a lot from it about what was going on, and it was very important about the future of the Milwaukee public school systems.

I think it was on the right side of history that the practices that the city of Milwaukee had been using to prevent white students attending schools with “too many black students” was a bad idea. So, we were working hard, we were essentially winning, and we were winning something I thought was worth winning.