posts 1 - 15 of 27
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 250

Readings: Read at least 3 of these 6 (your choice as to which ones you read, though you are certainly welcome to read all)

(I have linked PDFs of these articles in Google classroom for those who hit the paywall from the Boston Globe or The Atlantic ☹ )


Meghan E. Irons, Shelley Murphy, and Jenna Russell, “History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus,” Boston Globe, September 6, 2014.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/06/boston-busing-crisis-years-later/DS35nsuqp0yh8f1q9aRQUL/story.html OR https://drive.google.com/file/d/1syyYP4YyodGsXHcgE7C9dJtZOvED8J6d/view?usp=sharing


Farah Stockman, “Did Busing Slow the City’s Desegregation?” Boston Globe, August 9, 2015.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/08/08/did-busing-slow-boston-desegregation/5HXQbNFyuvD0SV4UdhNgAL/story.html OR https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SJY3mT2HLkjZ3T5qk2UJZgpu32CNd_zP/view?usp=sharing


Farah Stockman, “How a Standoff Over Schools Changed the Country,” Boston Globe, December 20, 2015.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2015/12/20/how-standoff-over-schools-changed-country/oP7xEwikHvdAgjtc0lfNdN/story.html OR https://drive.google.com/file/d/13Oaq9udIFlOFVDTqRTfc6-Y4FXFD3p8b/view?usp=sharing


Michael Patrick MacDonald, “Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation,” Boston Globe, September 2, 2014.

http://www.michaelpatrickmacdonald.com/articles-backend/2016/9/2/whitey-bulger-boston-busing-and-southies-lost-generation


“Echoes of Boston’s Busing Crisis,” WGBH, Fall 2014. Students (now adults) reading the essays they wrote while 6th graders in 1974 at the Holmes Elementary School in Dorchester. [NOTE: Currently you cannot listen to the folks read their essays but if you click on the thumbnail image of each essay, you will be able to see the typescript of each short essay] http://projects.wgbhnews.org/busing-letters/


Matthew Delmont, “The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis,” The Atlantic, March 29, 2016.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/the-boston-busing-crisis-was-never-intended-to-work/474264/ OR https://drive.google.com/file/d/16pVJxSS1bWTJUTcZq76eEZT7GyTrCraD/view?usp=sharing


To understand the effect of the desegregation ruling of 1974 and its effect on the Boston public schools beginning in school year 1974-1975, you have to understand the state of schools in the city prior to 1974 AND to understand the demographic tidal wave that resulted as well.


In 1972, when the Morgan v. Hennigan case, charging that the School Committee had discriminated against their children, was filed in US District Court by black parents, there were 96,000 students in the Boston Public Schools. Approximately 60% of them were white. By 1988, the number of students in the BPS dropped to 57,000. At that time 24% of the students were white, 48% were black, 19% were Hispanic, and 8% were Asian. As of 2018, there are 56,000 students in 125 schools: 14% are white, 34% are black, 42% are Hispanic, 9% are Asian with 1% identifying as other/multiracial.


So to say that there has been a seismic shift in the population of the BPS would be an understatement at best.


In class (on Wednesday), we are looking at the very important segment from Eyes on the Prize (from the “Keys to the Kingdom” episode) on Boston busing [for anyone who was absent, here’s a link to an online version of the film via Kanopy, which you can access using your Boston Public Library account; you want to watch from 0:36 to 29:48]. You will also be looking at several additional short clips on this topic in class on Thursday.


Using these readings as well as the film(s) we looked at in class, weigh in on the following questions (and respond to what at least one previous student in the thread had to say):


  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?
  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?
  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?
  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?
  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?
jellybeans101
Boston, MA
Posts: 10
  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?
  • I thinking the busing did not have bad intentions. We see both sides of the story the family of color who knows that South Boston is a place they would be most comfortable at, and the family living in South Boston's L Street worried about their son going to the "dangerous" neighborhood of Roxbury. We see this was a tense time but I felt like a form of bussing or bringing the community together was needed. Both of thee collective groups had stayed in their own neighborhoods not venturing out to learn or understand the other community. This was a chance for the younger community to see where to other grew up I think the issue was with the grown adults still have prejudice and pushing that onto their kids.
  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?
  • Desegregation is a worthy goal as it was the first step to growing from rooted racism. The environment was bound to be heated. And with an amount of the city fleeting to go to suburban schools we needed to strength our school system. There was no way change would happen if there wasn't a push for visibly changes in both school communities.
  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?
  • I thinking I would really have to be put into that environment to understand what I would do. Even when hearing or reading stories like this in the news or with first hand incounters the trama and fear these people felt will never be something I similarly experience in anyway.
watermelon2
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Segregation is a problem that our country has dealt with since it was established, and it is a problem that often appears easy to fix, but actually isn’t. In regard to the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, I think that this attempt didn’t necessarily justify busing. As we saw from the videos during class, segregation within Boston Public Schools was a big problem. Yet by implementing busing as a solution, it had many of the right intentions, but it wasn’t an ideal solution. Busing resulted in increased conflict and division amongst white families and families of color than before. After all, desegregating Boston Public Schools is an issue that goes farther than simply moving kids to different schools. This was almost the state’s way of coming up with an easy and convenient solution, rather than something that would actually have an impact on desegregation.

I think that desegregation was an extremely worthy goal, but the right steps just weren’t taken. In an ideal world, all of our schools would be racially distributed and equal, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Our schools, just like many other aspects of our country, are racially segregated. The hate and tension between people of different races inherently stem from racial segregation. When people are racially segregated, they don’t get to know any one of the other race and are incapable of understanding their opinions or ideas. When Mark Jaworski reflected on his personal experience with busing, he explained that when he learned schools are becoming racially integrated, he didn’t want to go because there would be black people. He says that he never went to school for a whole year with black people, so he makes assumptions of all black people based on a few of his experiences. This is what made it so easy for white people in Boston to immediately blame and dislike people of color the minute that busing was implemented. If they aren’t around one another, they only know what they hear from others or see from short instances. Racial segregation is also one of the main reasons why people of color are put at a disadvantage and given fewer resources when it comes to things such as education. For example, since schools were racially segregated in Boston, this allowed schools with predominantly white students to get many more resources than schools with predominantly students of color.

It is very hard for me to imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975. I am privileged enough to have never been worried about my education or feel like I was given fewer resources because of my race. Nevertheless, trying to imagine being in that environment, I think that I would struggle to tolerate most aspects of the environment. The part I would find most intolerable would have been when white families were throwing rocks at school buses with students of color. This is horrifying to think about and absolutely unacceptable. I also have trouble imagining myself in this environment, because I am Asian-American. When we learn about race, specifically desegregation in schools in this scenario, it is often seen from a black and white point of view. There is little information given about what was happening with Asian-American students or how they felt during this time. Therefore, I struggle to imagine what it would be like if I was there because I don’t know where I would fit in in this environment.

It’s obvious that desegregation was a crucial problem, and therefore change needed to happen. However, Judge Garrity’s busing solution wasn’t effective and opened up even more problems. I agreed with Mathew Delmont, who explained that people saw busing as the most crucial and singular option to address desegregation, so when busing failed to work, they often gave up and thought that the busing failure resembled an inability to desegregate schools. But Delmont expresses that the busing failure “doesn’t mean the achievability or significance of the original goal must fail, too.” This one-minded look at desegregation is partially responsible for Boston’s continued segregation today. Today, the effects of the desegregation era of 1974-1975 are still extremely prevalent because busing and other steps taken towards desegregation didn’t entirely solve the problem. Farah Stockman explains in her Boston Globe article that “Boston remains one of the most segregated major cities in the country.” It’s clear that busing didn’t solve everything, and this is because school desegregation is connected to more than just education systems, but to racial segregation in general. If we want to address desegregation in schools, steps need to be taken to address racial segregation throughout all aspects of our city.

watermelon2
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by jellybeans101 on October 19, 2021 16:59

  • I thinking I would really have to be put into that environment to understand what I would do. Even when hearing or reading stories like this in the news or with first hand incounters the trama and fear these people felt will never be something I similarly experience in anyway.

I agree with you. I think that it is really hard to imagine being in this environment because even though we can hear their stories and learn about what happened, this is nothing compared to actually experiencing it. I want to add that I think this inability to fully imagine being in this environment is because of not only the difference in the time period, but also because of the privilege we as Boston Latin students have. We don't have to worry about getting a proper education or having the resources we need, which is something that we often take for granted.

OverthinkingEnigma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

The ends did justify the means. The segregation of Boston’s public schools was evident but white people, especially those from South Boston like Lousie Day Hicks, believed that both school systems were equal and sufficient. Schools for children of color were funded less and couldn’t provide its students the best quality of education or supplies, and the segregation of schools would’ve only allowed for these conditions to go unnoticed and fester. What allowed these conditions to last is simply racism and it didn’t matter whether it was public/obvious demonstrations of racism or racism ‘undercover,’ such an ideology would have objected to desegregating one way or another. Simply put, it wouldn’t have mattered what time desegregation of schools took place because racism had a tight grip on the city of Boston for years and it wouldn’t simply disappear on the first day of busing or any form of mixed race schooling. Putting an end to segregation in Boston public schools would require time and effort but most importantly, it would require someone to take the first step. Thus, by implementing the busing regiment, we were able to take the first step in desegregating but dismantling a system which had been normalized for years never would have been easy.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation was a worthy goal. The video we as a class watched on busing stated that the education system in place was harming children of color. Most struggled to write grammatically correct and coherent sentences thus proving that schooling for children of color had put them at a disadvantage when compared to their white peers. Education is the foundation of every child’s future because the quality of education that one receives determines their job opportunities, income, housing, food, and overall living situation. If we had allowed for segregation to continue all POC would have suffered at the hands of the system and country that preached equality and claimed to care for the well-being of its people.

  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

Change needed to happen in Boston Public Schools, there was clear evidence that black schools weren’t given the same attention or supplies like that of white schools thus generating a fundamental impact on children of color. However, there were most likely better solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity. He didn’t consider the fact that South Boston Highschool was underfunded as well and that some white people of South Boston were predominantly poor and lived in projects. Moreover, the effects of busing on both sides is something to consider and reflect on. Students of color endured one of the most tragic and frightening displays of racism; an entire generation of (white) students was lost due to dropping out and unemployed dropouts resorted to the selling and consumption of drugs shortly after. Furthermore, the execution of busing only amplified the racial divide and encouraged both sides, white and black, to fear one another. Schools were made into practical war zones as the safety of every student was put at risk because of Garrity’s lack of awareness of the danger South Boston residents posed to black students.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

I wouldn’t want to imagine myself attending school in the environment of 1974-1975. As a person of color, I would be immediately targeted and harassed if I were to undergo busing. If anything, I would feel so confused as to why masses of white people would object to me attending school. I wouldn’t be able to comprehend why simply wanting a proper education would go against a white person’s god given rights. I wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the constant fear that I might be attacked by a mob or stones with rocks or glass every school day. Moreover, I would fear white teenagers the most. Along with white privilege, their age would excuse them of most of their actions, especially if they were targeted towards POC. Nevertheless, I would have tolerated the tense environment in schools because I value my education above all else. At that time and still to this day, education defines the rest of your future thus I wouldn’t risk my future for the white students who dropped out of school because of their racist beliefs.

  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

I now see more diverse schools with children and parents who don’t object to having their kid surrounded by a variety of races and ethnicities. Additionally, most schools have enough funding to provide proper textbooks, supplies, and teachers for students. Nevertheless, there still seems to be some reminiscence of unintentional segregation in schools. This is most likely the result of differences in income as well as environmental racism. Neighborhoods in Boston that have a POC majority are more likely to have worse schools than those in more wealthier areas which are occupied by a white majority. If schools aren’t able to provide children of color with proper opportunities and education, it would only allow the cycle of environmental racism to continue. Moreover, children of color still refrain from attending predominantly white schools out of fear and concern. As a student of color myself, I can sympathize with such a feeling, considering I begged my parents to let me switch to BLA which had more students I could racially relate with. The lack of POC in BLS is a common feature in similarly structured schools because not every student or family is exposed to the same opportunities and knowledge compared to a white Bostonian.

OverthinkingEnigma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by watermelon2 on October 21, 2021 09:31

Segregation is a problem that our country has dealt with since it was established, and it is a problem that often appears easy to fix, but actually isn’t. In regard to the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, I think that this attempt didn’t necessarily justify busing. As we saw from the videos during class, segregation within Boston Public Schools was a big problem. Yet by implementing busing as a solution, it had many of the right intentions, but it wasn’t an ideal solution. Busing resulted in increased conflict and division amongst white families and families of color than before. After all, desegregating Boston Public Schools is an issue that goes farther than simply moving kids to different schools. This was almost the state’s way of coming up with an easy and convenient solution, rather than something that would actually have an impact on desegregation.

I think that desegregation was an extremely worthy goal, but the right steps just weren’t taken. In an ideal world, all of our schools would be racially distributed and equal, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Our schools, just like many other aspects of our country, are racially segregated. The hate and tension between people of different races inherently stem from racial segregation. When people are racially segregated, they don’t get to know any one of the other race and are incapable of understanding their opinions or ideas. When Mark Jaworski reflected on his personal experience with busing, he explained that when he learned schools are becoming racially integrated, he didn’t want to go because there would be black people. He says that he never went to school for a whole year with black people, so he makes assumptions of all black people based on a few of his experiences. This is what made it so easy for white people in Boston to immediately blame and dislike people of color the minute that busing was implemented. If they aren’t around one another, they only know what they hear from others or see from short instances. Racial segregation is also one of the main reasons why people of color are put at a disadvantage and given fewer resources when it comes to things such as education. For example, since schools were racially segregated in Boston, this allowed schools with predominantly white students to get many more resources than schools with predominantly students of color.

It is very hard for me to imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975. I am privileged enough to have never been worried about my education or feel like I was given fewer resources because of my race. Nevertheless, trying to imagine being in that environment, I think that I would struggle to tolerate most aspects of the environment. The part I would find most intolerable would have been when white families were throwing rocks at school buses with students of color. This is horrifying to think about and absolutely unacceptable. I also have trouble imagining myself in this environment, because I am Asian-American. When we learn about race, specifically desegregation in schools in this scenario, it is often seen from a black and white point of view. There is little information given about what was happening with Asian-American students or how they felt during this time. Therefore, I struggle to imagine what it would be like if I was there because I don’t know where I would fit in in this environment.

It’s obvious that desegregation was a crucial problem, and therefore change needed to happen. However, Judge Garrity’s busing solution wasn’t effective and opened up even more problems. I agreed with Mathew Delmont, who explained that people saw busing as the most crucial and singular option to address desegregation, so when busing failed to work, they often gave up and thought that the busing failure resembled an inability to desegregate schools. But Delmont expresses that the busing failure “doesn’t mean the achievability or significance of the original goal must fail, too.” This one-minded look at desegregation is partially responsible for Boston’s continued segregation today. Today, the effects of the desegregation era of 1974-1975 are still extremely prevalent because busing and other steps taken towards desegregation didn’t entirely solve the problem. Farah Stockman explains in her Boston Globe article that “Boston remains one of the most segregated major cities in the country.” It’s clear that busing didn’t solve everything, and this is because school desegregation is connected to more than just education systems, but to racial segregation in general. If we want to address desegregation in schools, steps need to be taken to address racial segregation throughout all aspects of our city.

I completely agree with you. The reasoning behind busing was well thought but its execution and effects outweighed the good. Moreover, I liked that you had pointed Judge Garrity's reasoning to be filled with assumptions and lack of consideration for black people. Busing didn't end segregation in Boston overnight and caused additional trauma for students of color as well as pit both sides of Boston, POC and white, against each other.

pink12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

The ends did justify the means since people from both sides of Boston were able to realize the privilege and difference that each school system had. The privilege that wealthier communities had was very obvious and busing opened up the eyes of others and made them realize how unfair this issue really was. Since communities were so separated they were just used to what they had and never were able to experience the schooling of other communities. Schools for POC ultimately had worse schooling with not enough supplies, poor teaching, or even not enough teachers for all the students. While on the other side of the city, these wealthier communities were getting the best education. Busing created an opportunity to desegregate the schooling communities and give a better education to POC.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Yes, it was a worthy goal since children of color were ultimately set up to fail since they were given poorer learning. Education is very important since that determines your job and life ahead. As said in the video, students of color received a poorer education and were barely able to write a complete sentence nor read. Busing allowed them the opportunity to go to a school with better teaching and more supplies to learn.

  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

Change did need to happen in Boston Public Schools since children of color were at a disadvantage with learning setting them up for failure in the future. Busing did help by bringing children to different communities across Boston and desegregating schools. The only problem was that people of color faced a lot of racism when coming into white communities, since white communities felt that it was equal and things should stay the way they were. It was not fair to the black communities who lives were at risks with the constant retaliation against them coming to their schools, while when white students came to black communities they were very welcoming.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

I couldn't even start to imagine how awful the environment would have been while attending schools during 1974-1975. Despite the lack of empathy for others, how could these children even continue to get an education nor focus with all this chaos around them. I would feel sick to my stomach if other were retaliating against me from going to a school in their community. Constantly I would be scared and live out of fear everyday that I would attend school, this wasn't healthy at all for these young children.

  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

Today, schools are a lot more diverse and especially for schools in Boston, I believe that we are all given a fair amount of supplies for learning. I still believe today that if a POC is attending a predominantly white school, they most likely feel scared and may not want to attend that school since their race is a minority. Today at Boston Latin School the majority is mostly white and asian, but it has become more diverse and hopefully that will continue in the future.

pink12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by jellybeans101 on October 19, 2021 16:59

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?
  • I thinking the busing did not have bad intentions. We see both sides of the story the family of color who knows that South Boston is a place they would be most comfortable at, and the family living in South Boston's L Street worried about their son going to the "dangerous" neighborhood of Roxbury. We see this was a tense time but I felt like a form of bussing or bringing the community together was needed. Both of thee collective groups had stayed in their own neighborhoods not venturing out to learn or understand the other community. This was a chance for the younger community to see where to other grew up I think the issue was with the grown adults still have prejudice and pushing that onto their kids.
  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?
  • Desegregation is a worthy goal as it was the first step to growing from rooted racism. The environment was bound to be heated. And with an amount of the city fleeting to go to suburban schools we needed to strength our school system. There was no way change would happen if there wasn't a push for visibly changes in both school communities.
  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?
  • I thinking I would really have to be put into that environment to understand what I would do. Even when hearing or reading stories like this in the news or with first hand incounters the trama and fear these people felt will never be something I similarly experience in anyway.

I agree that the busing helped since it did in fact desegregate school. I like how you gave an example of a family living in South Boston and how they were apart of this problem, since they feared that it would be "dangerous" for him to go to another school.

facingstudent8
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

What do we make of the legacy of Boston desegregation?

No the ends certainly did not justify the means. The decision to bus the blackest part of boston to the whitest part was not well thought out at all and created an enormous amount of unnecessary pain. The idea behind desegregation, to achieve equal education, was a worthy goal, but the way they went about achieving it could have been improved. The solution, however, did not address the systemic problem of inequity in schools. Busing really was a solution that was “too little too late”. A more fair solution might have been to federally subsidize school funds and divide it equally among all schools instead of basing it off the property taxes of those in the neighborhood. Change absolutely needed to happen in Boston Public Schools, however, busing was a temporary solution to a much larger issue surrounding segregation in Boston. It would have made more sense to have busing as only a first step to addressing this segregation issue in Boston.


Going to school in the environment of 1974-1975 would have been traumatizing to say the least. Obviously busing would have affected everyone differently depending on where you lived in Boston and what school you went to. South Boston was one of the worst places for busing and living and or going to school there would likely have been intolerable due to the violence that occured there every day. One of the activists describing busing as “every day it was like a warzone” definitely makes me think it would have been intolerable to go to school in that neighborhood during that time. It was also interesting to hear the story of Robert Lewis Junior in one of the articles because I played baseball at The Base and had no idea about his incredible story. There were also other people who said that busing was fine on a daily basis if you didn’t live in South Boston or Roxbury so it could have been more tolerable if you weren’t in those neighborhoods. I also found it interesting reading the kids essays because things really don’t change they do the same field trips we did like going to the Franklin Park Zoo and the Hale Reservation.


One of the most visual effects of the desegregation era of 1974 to 1975 is its failures. Boston still remains a largely segregated city. As we learned about it class this was due to red lining and block busting where black people were not allowed to get loans then when they did try to move into white neighborhoods realtors encouraged all the white families to move out. Most Boston schools have majority Black or Latino students or majority white students depending on the neighborhood. This is mostly due to the fact that Boston schools, at least for elementary, are based on neighborhoods and the neighborhoods of Boston are still segregated.

facingstudent8
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by watermelon2 on October 21, 2021 09:31

Segregation is a problem that our country has dealt with since it was established, and it is a problem that often appears easy to fix, but actually isn’t. In regard to the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, I think that this attempt didn’t necessarily justify busing. As we saw from the videos during class, segregation within Boston Public Schools was a big problem. Yet by implementing busing as a solution, it had many of the right intentions, but it wasn’t an ideal solution. Busing resulted in increased conflict and division amongst white families and families of color than before. After all, desegregating Boston Public Schools is an issue that goes farther than simply moving kids to different schools. This was almost the state’s way of coming up with an easy and convenient solution, rather than something that would actually have an impact on desegregation.

I think that desegregation was an extremely worthy goal, but the right steps just weren’t taken. In an ideal world, all of our schools would be racially distributed and equal, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Our schools, just like many other aspects of our country, are racially segregated. The hate and tension between people of different races inherently stem from racial segregation. When people are racially segregated, they don’t get to know any one of the other race and are incapable of understanding their opinions or ideas. When Mark Jaworski reflected on his personal experience with busing, he explained that when he learned schools are becoming racially integrated, he didn’t want to go because there would be black people. He says that he never went to school for a whole year with black people, so he makes assumptions of all black people based on a few of his experiences. This is what made it so easy for white people in Boston to immediately blame and dislike people of color the minute that busing was implemented. If they aren’t around one another, they only know what they hear from others or see from short instances. Racial segregation is also one of the main reasons why people of color are put at a disadvantage and given fewer resources when it comes to things such as education. For example, since schools were racially segregated in Boston, this allowed schools with predominantly white students to get many more resources than schools with predominantly students of color.

It is very hard for me to imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975. I am privileged enough to have never been worried about my education or feel like I was given fewer resources because of my race. Nevertheless, trying to imagine being in that environment, I think that I would struggle to tolerate most aspects of the environment. The part I would find most intolerable would have been when white families were throwing rocks at school buses with students of color. This is horrifying to think about and absolutely unacceptable. I also have trouble imagining myself in this environment, because I am Asian-American. When we learn about race, specifically desegregation in schools in this scenario, it is often seen from a black and white point of view. There is little information given about what was happening with Asian-American students or how they felt during this time. Therefore, I struggle to imagine what it would be like if I was there because I don’t know where I would fit in in this environment.

It’s obvious that desegregation was a crucial problem, and therefore change needed to happen. However, Judge Garrity’s busing solution wasn’t effective and opened up even more problems. I agreed with Mathew Delmont, who explained that people saw busing as the most crucial and singular option to address desegregation, so when busing failed to work, they often gave up and thought that the busing failure resembled an inability to desegregate schools. But Delmont expresses that the busing failure “doesn’t mean the achievability or significance of the original goal must fail, too.” This one-minded look at desegregation is partially responsible for Boston’s continued segregation today. Today, the effects of the desegregation era of 1974-1975 are still extremely prevalent because busing and other steps taken towards desegregation didn’t entirely solve the problem. Farah Stockman explains in her Boston Globe article that “Boston remains one of the most segregated major cities in the country.” It’s clear that busing didn’t solve everything, and this is because school desegregation is connected to more than just education systems, but to racial segregation in general. If we want to address desegregation in schools, steps need to be taken to address racial segregation throughout all aspects of our city.

I agree with what you said about not interacting with other groups of people and how, from there, it is easy to make assumptions and easy for people to have prejudices against others. I also read the account from Jaworski and I wonder how much of it was his own disliking of busing and how much of it was parents or adults around him talking about "how awful busing is". I think that this is really where hate is born from, especially in children it is taught and learned and passed down through generations which leads us to why we have the current political state that we have in America today.

cnovav
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

No, the ends did not justify the means. Busing was a traumatic event for both young children and their families. These were young children who didn't understand why they were hated and why they were being attacked because of the color of their skin. They should've never had to be put through such a traumatizing experience because the city couldn't, or didn't want to come up with a better solution. Busing should've been just the beginning, but it was “advertised” as the beginning, middle, and end. It wasn’t thought out properly, nor was it executed properly.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation was a worthy goal. Although I do not believe that busing was completely justified, I think wanting to give all students the same opportunity to learn the same things in the same way, despite the color of their skin, is undeniably a worthy goal. Did this mean that those children have to suffer the way that they did? No. I think a worthy goal is something that is worth putting using as many resources as possible to achieve that goal. The first step to ending racism should've been treated as though it was worthy, but busing made it seem as though it wasn't.

  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

Change needed to happen in the Boston Public Schools. The goal was to create a racial balance in schools but I don't think that actually ever happened. There were white parents pulling their students out of school even though they didn't have good reasons to. They could have certainly created a reasonable argument, but they instead chose to be violent and hateful. Boston Public Schools barely did anything to control that. nowadays if a parent pulls their children from school without giving a valid reason, there would be an uproar from BPS. It seems like there was no control, like BPS had no control but too much control at the same time.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

The only thing that I could imagine being tolerable would've been the fact that I would be getting a better education. I think there would be hope that I would have a better future than the generations before me because I had the opportunity to have a good education despite my race. However, the fact that everyday I would have to be reminded that I am not wanted at my school because of my race, and that the parents of my classmates don’t want their children to attend the same school as me, would be intolerable. I think it would make it very difficult to think positively and understand what the true intentions of busing was during that time period. Especially for such young children and their families.

  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

I think that the most visible effects today of the desegregation era is how so many Boston Public Schools have made it a priority to diversify their student population. Not only the schools themselves, but public officials as well. Currently Boston is in a very weird place because of the upcoming mayoral elections. A common theme that I have seen throughout the campaigns is the promise of embracing Boston’s diversity, more specifically, embracing diversity in schools. It’s great to see that diversity and equal education is becoming a widely discussed topic, but it also feels like a topic that many people are still afraid to discuss.

cnovav
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by facingstudent8 on October 24, 2021 10:38

One of the most visual effects of the desegregation era of 1974 to 1975 is its failures. Boston still remains a largely segregated city. As we learned about it class this was due to red lining and block busting where black people were not allowed to get loans then when they did try to move into white neighborhoods realtors encouraged all the white families to move out. Most Boston schools have majority Black or Latino students or majority white students depending on the neighborhood. This is mostly due to the fact that Boston schools, at least for elementary, are based on neighborhoods and the neighborhoods of Boston are still segregated.

I 100% agree that Boston is still extremely segregated. Although I think many people don't really pay attention to it, and some don't think it's true because there isn't any legal aspect in it, per se. In a lot of neighborhoods, it seems the majoirty of people are content with living in a legally segregated city.

booksandcandles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

This is a difficult question, seeing as the ends were the desegregation of Boston schools, but the means involved small children being put into dangerous situations. I think my answer is yes, because desegregation created so many more opportunities for black children, and sort of closed the divide between black and white just a little more. Any solution would have had the same opposition from the white community, and people would have still gotten hurt. So yes, I think he ends justified the means in this case.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation was a very worthy goal, looking at the difference in treatment between black and white schools. The system caused black students to have significantly worse educations than white students, which in our society would not get them good jobs. It was constantly and legally putting one type of person above another, at the detriment of the other. Desegregation, although a harmful process, brought the levels made by the system closer.

  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

Despite my attempts, I can't think of a solution that would not have resulted in as much violence and push-back from the white community. Because of this country's history, white people were going to be opposed to desegregation, no matter what. Change did need to happen because segregation was detrimental to both black and white children.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

I can't imagine it. I have had an incredibly safe life and have never been directly racially discriminated against. I think nothing would be tolerable, although I, being afraid of confrontation, would have tolerated it because of the education I was getting.

  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

The most visible effect is the multicultural and diverse classrooms we have now. Seeing kids of different races interact positively with each other at school is a huge effect of desegregation.

booksandcandles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by cnovav on October 24, 2021 11:15

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

No, the ends did not justify the means. Busing was a traumatic event for both young children and their families. These were young children who didn't understand why they were hated and why they were being attacked because of the color of their skin. They should've never had to be put through such a traumatizing experience because the city couldn't, or didn't want to come up with a better solution. Busing should've been just the beginning, but it was “advertised” as the beginning, middle, and end. It wasn’t thought out properly, nor was it executed properly.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation was a worthy goal. Although I do not believe that busing was completely justified, I think wanting to give all students the same opportunity to learn the same things in the same way, despite the color of their skin, is undeniably a worthy goal. Did this mean that those children have to suffer the way that they did? No. I think a worthy goal is something that is worth putting using as many resources as possible to achieve that goal. The first step to ending racism should've been treated as though it was worthy, but busing made it seem as though it wasn't.

  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

Change needed to happen in the Boston Public Schools. The goal was to create a racial balance in schools but I don't think that actually ever happened. There were white parents pulling their students out of school even though they didn't have good reasons to. They could have certainly created a reasonable argument, but they instead chose to be violent and hateful. Boston Public Schools barely did anything to control that. nowadays if a parent pulls their children from school without giving a valid reason, there would be an uproar from BPS. It seems like there was no control, like BPS had no control but too much control at the same time.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

The only thing that I could imagine being tolerable would've been the fact that I would be getting a better education. I think there would be hope that I would have a better future than the generations before me because I had the opportunity to have a good education despite my race. However, the fact that everyday I would have to be reminded that I am not wanted at my school because of my race, and that the parents of my classmates don’t want their children to attend the same school as me, would be intolerable. I think it would make it very difficult to think positively and understand what the true intentions of busing was during that time period. Especially for such young children and their families.

  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

I think that the most visible effects today of the desegregation era is how so many Boston Public Schools have made it a priority to diversify their student population. Not only the schools themselves, but public officials as well. Currently Boston is in a very weird place because of the upcoming mayoral elections. A common theme that I have seen throughout the campaigns is the promise of embracing Boston’s diversity, more specifically, embracing diversity in schools. It’s great to see that diversity and equal education is becoming a widely discussed topic, but it also feels like a topic that many people are still afraid to discuss.

I agree that people are still afraid to discuss, as racial imbalance is still a huge problem everywhere. It sometimes seems like it's never going anywhere, and that needs to be talked about so we can find a solution.

iris almonds
Posts: 16

Originally posted by facingstudent8 on October 24, 2021 10:38

No the ends certainly did not justify the means. The decision to bus the blackest part of boston to the whitest part was not well thought out at all and created an enormous amount of unnecessary pain. The idea behind desegregation, to achieve equal education, was a worthy goal, but the way they went about achieving it could have been improved. The solution, however, did not address the systemic problem of inequity in schools. Busing really was a solution that was “too little too late”. A more fair solution might have been to federally subsidize school funds and divide it equally among all schools instead of basing it off the property taxes of those in the neighborhood. Change absolutely needed to happen in Boston Public Schools, however, busing was a temporary solution to a much larger issue surrounding segregation in Boston. It would have made more sense to have busing as only a first step to addressing this segregation issue in Boston.


Going to school in the environment of 1974-1975 would have been traumatizing to say the least. Obviously busing would have affected everyone differently depending on where you lived in Boston and what school you went to. South Boston was one of the worst places for busing and living and or going to school there would likely have been intolerable due to the violence that occured there every day. One of the activists describing busing as “every day it was like a warzone” definitely makes me think it would have been intolerable to go to school in that neighborhood during that time. It was also interesting to hear the story of Robert Lewis Junior in one of the articles because I played baseball at The Base and had no idea about his incredible story. There were also other people who said that busing was fine on a daily basis if you didn’t live in South Boston or Roxbury so it could have been more tolerable if you weren’t in those neighborhoods. I also found it interesting reading the kids essays because things really don’t change they do the same field trips we did like going to the Franklin Park Zoo and the Hale Reservation.


One of the most visual effects of the desegregation era of 1974 to 1975 is its failures. Boston still remains a largely segregated city. As we learned about it class this was due to red lining and block busting where black people were not allowed to get loans then when they did try to move into white neighborhoods realtors encouraged all the white families to move out. Most Boston schools have majority Black or Latino students or majority white students depending on the neighborhood. This is mostly due to the fact that Boston schools, at least for elementary, are based on neighborhoods and the neighborhoods of Boston are still segregated.

Post your response here.

I totally agree with your idea that busing was not justified by the means of desegregating BPS. The solution definitely did not address the systemic problems of inequity in schools. All busing really did was bus white kids to black schools and black kids to white schools. The inequities within schools weren't really addressed and I agree that it would have made more sense to equally distribute resources to all schools. I totally agree that busing is only the first step and that everyone needs to be educated on issues of segregation in Boston. The means of busing was not a success but it made people realize that the economic and racial segregation is a huge issue all over the countr.

posts 1 - 15 of 27