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.
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.
“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.
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?