Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?
- Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?
Since I wouldn’t consider the ends having been met, the means haven’t been justified. The busing in Boston succeeded in further polarizing an already segregated city and the impacts of the violence from busing are still seen in Boston. As seen in the article “Did busing slow Boston’s Desegregation,” the violence by the white community forced many black families to move out of predominantly white neighborhoods, furthering the segregation. For instance, in Southie, where 155 black people lived was reduced to a black population of zero in the ten years that followed busing as a result of the increased violence.
- Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?
Without a doubt desegregation is a worthy goal that still has yet to be fully accomplished. From the video that we saw in class, the public schools in predominantly black neighborhoods were extremely lacking in the adequate materials for learning, as seen in them having to save the amount of pencils and crayons they had in order to have enough for the whole school. The inferior educational opportunities created a severe detriment in the future opportunities of students in the black community and still do. This impact on the education of the balck community leads to future disparities in the work force and in higher education. In integrating the schools, it creates more equal opportunities and fosters healthier relationships between the diverse enclaves of Boston.
- 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 was absolutely necessary for BPS, but busing could’ve possibly created a more segregated community than before. Another possible solution would’ve been to increase funding to the predominantly black schools, so that they would have access to the same materials and educational resources that the predominantly white schools had access to. If busing had been introduced after a larger whole scale reform of the schools themselves, then there might’ve been less push-back. Ultimately I believe that busing was necessary in order to create more diverse schools and desegregate Boston, but in order to ensure that bussing had lasting helpful effects on race relations in Boston a more gradual integration of schools could have slowed or decreased the violence that ensued.
- Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?
Going to school in the environment of 1974-1975 would’ve been almost intolerable because of the violence that took place and the tension that was an impediment to learning. Sticking to the routine of school would’ve been the most effective way to ease tensions and continue getting an education. I will never be able to fully comprehend the environment in which the children of Boston were forced to grow up in. With education being overlooked for the sake of continuing hateful racism and segregation in BPS.
- What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?
The most visible effects of segregation today is the continual segregation between the neighborhoods of Boston, that remain divided as a ramification of the violence resulting from busing. Although schools are more diverse than they used to be, we still have a long way before we fully desegregate the schools and provide equal quality education to all children of Boston. Exemplified in the demographic of BLS, BPS still lacks a lot of diversity throughout the system, especially concerning the exam schools that are considered more prestigious and are composed mostly of white students.