There are few people in the Milwaukee education community who don't have strong feelings, one way or another, about Dr. Howard Fuller.
Fuller served as Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools from 1991 to 1995. His aim was to make the school system work better for black children, living in impoverished homes.
When he decided his vision wouldn't be realized within the system, he left and became a full-time advocate for education reform. And in Milwaukee, this has meant that he is the leading African American voice in support of school choice programs and vouchers. Fuller's work now includes being director of Marquette University's Institute for the Transformation of Learning and chairing the board at Milwaukee Collegiate Academy.
But if you thought you knew Howard Fuller, he would suggest you think again. His memoir is just out, detailing his childhood in Milwaukee and at Carroll College in Waukesha, his time as a community organizer in Cleveland and North Carolina to his work in the Pan African movement in the 1970s and founding Malcolm X Liberation University.
Fuller spoke with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich about why he thinks this is the right time to tell his whole story. His memoir is called No Struggle, No Progress: A Warrior's Life from Black Power to Education Reform.
"You have to be impatient with the pace of change in our community. But you have to be patient enough to fight it every single day," says Fuller.