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anonymity
Posts: 29

Originally posted by Mercury on December 05, 2018 22:12.

In a way, busing created the perfect storm for scared, racist, white people to show what they valued more—their privilege (which they most likely did not view as privilege) or the lives of their black neighbors. Most choose their privilege and the fear it created, the fear that something was being taken away from them. Something that they deserved.


I think this event did reveal what what white people valued more and it definitely was their privilege. Despite the hardships that Southie families faced with poverty, they were still above Roxbury families in the sense that the local government was working for them. When they incited violence against innocent children, the majority of them were left alone by law enforcement. In the video, there was no mention of arrests being made for Southie adults and kids who were assaulting black men and those children they were harassing. They were publicly backed up by government officials including the president of the US at the time. So yes, Busing showed us what white Bostonians wanted the most and it was their privilege, that they feared would be taken away from them.


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Gatinho
Posts: 25

Originally posted by Elmosworld5678 on December 05, 2018 19:44

In Boston, we try to forget the history, and in some sense it worked. I never knew anything about this until I came to BLS. That’s about 14 years (by the time I learned of what happened) of living in Boston, taking history courses and learning about the unfortunate truths of segregation, but never did any teacher or book tell me about my own city. I have tried to imagine myself walking into BLS on the first day of sixie year with crowds and cameras invading my privacy. Like Lucy Lu, I can’t. I am not sure if I can imagine being a student or anyone else involved, like a bus driver or educator. Being scared to walk from a bus to the door should not and should never exist.

The busing in Boston should be taught in more history classes. It shouldn't take me 17 years to finally learn about Boston's horrible past. And if I didn't take this class, I probably wouldn't learn about it at all. We should know about the history of out city.

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mintqueen
Posts: 23

Originally posted by Mercury on December 05, 2018 22:12

It is the sudden, icy change that brings dissent and questions and answers and conflict, so we can face the monster and hopefully see the results we wanted. Change is scary. That’s just how it is. And busing…busing was like ripping off a band aid. Except, maybe there’s another band aid under that band aid, and so on.

Without busing Boston wouldn’t have had to face its problems head on for once. It changed the city. It changed a lot of kids lives.

I was blown away when I first read this post because you make such a strong, well-written argument. I mentioned in my earlier post that Boston's busing failure set the guidelines for other cities who wanted to desegregate their schools, and I think your post relates to that too. Maybe busing was the best option because we weren't trying to hide Boston's truth from ourselves by simply moving on. And even though "ripping off the band aid" may have harmed our city, it helped a lot of other places. I think it's important that Boston faces its history-- I just think that it could have done so without so much violence and outrage. I mean, couldn't we have ended up with the same result with less mobs? A big change was definitely necessary, but I think busing brought Boston more conflict than positive change, especially considering the current demographics of BPS.

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SickandTired
Posts: 19

Boston has racism?!?

“There is no racism in Boston, that stuff only happened in the South!” This is a phrase that we all have heard many times and maybe have even thought it ourselves. How could a place like Boston, with so many opportunities, with different people and different cultures ever have racism? That is the image that was continuously displayed to me ever since my family moved here. Honestly, that is what I believed until my first day of school here and someone asked me how did I get into BLS because all black kids are stupid. I guess at that moment I realized that Boston isn’t all sunshine and happiness after all. All throughout school it is taught that segregation only happened in the South because that is where the Jim Crow laws were enforced and where the Civil Rights movement was based. Yet from watching the videos this past week, Boston was not any better in any shape or form. Although there were no laws binding people to a certain section of a city, there were still these “unspoken” laws that the black people stay in places like Roxbury and Mattapan while white people lived in places like South and East Boston. I applaud all the parents who took a stand to fight for their children’s education because education is the key to opportunity. How were black and brown students supposed to learn and grow in overcrowded and underfunded schools? That is why I think the idea of busing made sense because separate never meant equal. What is the benefit of attending and all white school when in the real world unfortunately, not everyone will look like you or even think like you. Going to a diverse school gives children a chance to see a realistic outlook of the real world. The desegregation needed to happen in Boston because people got too comfortable in their neighborhoods. The white people were so used to being around white people that the idea of having a black student enter freaked them out. Although the black parents and students did not show animosity at the few white students coming in to their neighborhood, that thought still would have harbored in their mine. I think it’s because Boston was and sadly is still so racially separated that is caused such a dilemma in South Boston in the 70’s. Red lining ultimately created invisible lines between neighborhoods that still today are very hard to cross. If you walk down the street in some parts of Boston, you could probably count with you finger the amount of black people you encounter and vice versa with white people. Being so separated creates these false images about what the “other side” looks like. According to the article in the Boston Globe, white parents were so afraid of sending their children to Roxbury because “they believed crime rates were higher,” not knowing that Southie also had a high crime rate. It makes me think of our country now, people are so scared of interacting with other races and instead of getting to know them we justify ourselves by creating all these untrue stereotypes. In the end, I don’t think there truly was another solution to desegregation in Boston without busing and what happened in South Boston and in other neighborhoods needed to happen. Bostonians needed to see that there was racism embedded in their city and someone had to bring it to the surface. Maybe the North was not diseased with lynching and things of that sort but there was and still is racism, and instead of pointing all our fingers to the South we need to point our fingers to ourselves as well. It is crazy to imagine being a black student going to South Boston High School September 12, 1974. I can imagine being dressed in my new outfit, perfect hair and a great attitude about entering a new school year. Then, I can also imagine the disappointment and disgust in what the people of South Boston were doing. They were willing to hurt children simply because they believed that they didn’t belong there. The courage it took those black students to walk into that school every morning is unimaginable. Having to worry about being hit with bricks and rocks, being called an ape and getting yelled at for doing absolutely nothing wrong requires so much strength that I am not sure I would have as a young teenager. Sadly it is clear that desegregation did not happen to its full potential in the Boston or anywhere. Today there is still the struggle of schools that are predominately white being better than those that are predominantly black. In areas like Mattapan and Roxbury, schools are not as well funded in comparison to other neighborhoods. How can the same Boston that has the oldest public school in the country still not have equality in their education system? Just like the black parents and the NAACP during the 70’s called out the city on it’s wrongdoings, it is fair that we continue to do the same. Every kid in Boston despite race and or economic background deserve to receive the best education that their city can provide.
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Gatinho
Posts: 25

I don't believe that desegregating Boston justified busing. Judge Garrity had good intentions, but I don't think this was the way to do it. Is that to say that there was a better way to do things? I'm not sure.

In theory, busing makes sense. Let's bring some blacks kids to white schools and white kids to black schools to create more diversity. But this obviously had problems. Parents don't want their child to be sent to a far away neighborhood they aren't familiar with. They want their kids to be close by, for convenience, and if anything ever happens, they'll be right there. The white parents feared for their children's safety, so as the whites do, they became violent and took it out on the black students who were just trying to learn. I don't see how their worry for safety would lead them to the conclusion that they should harm the black kids coming into their neighborhood, but that's just white people stuff, I guess. If I were a parent in this era and I disapproved of busing I would have just protested, you know, peacefully, instead of attacking the students who didn't do anything. It's not like they came up with busing.

Desegregation is a very worthy goal. It's important to be surrounded by people who look like you but also people who are different from you. It was also important for the children of this time to get better education because their schools were inadequate and if the schools were diverse, maybe the city would actually care about fixing them. But I honestly see no option that would have made the desegregation of Boston easier. The city was entirely segregated. There were the white neighborhoods, black neighborhoods, Asian neighborhoods and Latinx neighborhoods. It would have just as hard to desegregate the neighborhoods as it was with the schools. Everyone got along with each other unless they came into their area. If a black family moved into a white neighborhood, the outcome would've been similar to Raisin in the Sun, if not worse.

I can't think of any change that would've worked better except that South Boston should've been excluded from busing. The city knew that East Boston would be hostile so they didn't include them in the plan. They should've done the same to Southie, because it was clear that they deeply opposed the new order.

I can't imagine going to school in this type of environment. I grew up in Southie, not to far from Southie High. I passed it every day on my way to school and I've heard some stories about kids being brought to the school from across the city, but I never knew that my mother was talking about black kids or that this was related to the desegregation of Boston. After hearing all these stories, I probably wouldn't have gone to school, not to protest busing, but because I would have been terrified. Southie High constantly had police presence to protect the students. Schools shouldn't need police. It's supposed to be a safe environment where children can learn without worrying about whether they'd make it out of the school alive.

The most visible effects that I can see of the desegregation era is schools still trying to make schools diverse and busing kids across the city. Progress has certainly been made, but it's still not enough. The city still has segregated neighborhoods and under performing schools.

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C1152GS
Posts: 24

Originally posted by funkymonkey123 on December 05, 2018 15:19

“48 percent of blacks don’t believe they’ll achieve racial equality in their lifetime, or ever. That’s incredible, given how hard blacks have fought for it and how much progress has been made. Meanwhile, half of all whites believe equality has already been won” (Stockman).


This statistic is staggering, and speaks to the truth of how the racism prevalent in the busing era continues into today’s society. I believe integrated schools were 100% necessary in Boston, and it it absolutely disgusting and disheartening watching the footage from South Boston High School: grown adults screaming racial slurs at innocent children, bricks being thrown at not only the buses but also people and police officers, boycotts, and so forth. It was eye-opening to juxtapose the treatment of blacks entering Southie, to the whites entering Roxbury. In Southie, “only 124 of the 1,300 enrolled students showed up for school” (Irons, Murphy, Russell). On the contrary, in Roxbury, “there were no protesters, no bitter confrontations, and no heavy police presence,” (Irons, Murphy, Russell) against the white kids. These recounts also corroborate the heart-wrenching footage of the little girl, Joanne, who just kept repeating “it isn’t fair, it isn’t fair.” Busing and violence erupted to such an extreme that in 1974, Roxbury and South Boston were declared “death zones.”


These horrific incidents make me wonder if busing was the best option. Obviously, the schools needed to be integrated in some way, but I can understand why parents may be upset sending their children across the city when there is a school down the street. Curious about what would happen if I were in this situation, I asked my dad what he would’ve done if my siblings and I were bussed across the city. He first said that my parents found it important that we attend a Catholic school, basically telling me that regardless of the racial tension of public schools, I would have been enrolled in a Catholic school. Nevertheless, I asked him if we were to attend public schools, what his standpoint would be. He told me that he would be hesitant to send me across the city to a place that I’ve never really been to, but that this integration was necessary, so he would be torn. He also mentioned that it would be tough if some family members remained in our original neighborhood and the others were sent across the city. We then got into the conversation of how important exposure to people of different races and culture is. My elementary school was predominantly white, and I severely lacked exposure to anything outside a tiny, catholic elementary school. BLS opened my eyes to the wider world, and even talking to friends from private, predominantly white high schools, their lack of exposure is very clear. After all, the real world includes people of all colors, cultures, and backgrounds. And so, if Boston Latin School specifically is supposed to prepare us for a “rewarding life,” it is imperative that diversity is incorporated into our classrooms.


The results of other solutions are difficult to predict. Would they have ended in more harm than busing? A solution that someone mentioned in class today suggested diversifying neighborhoods, so that kids grow up surrounded by different cultures. Looking around Boston today, even 40 years after busing, not all neighborhoods are diverse. Look at West Roxbury, for example, barely any black families live there. Even looking at diverse neighborhoods like Dorchester, whites and blacks still often live on different sides of the neighborhood. Nevertheless, I believe this solution (despite the economic zoning in the map from class), would have aided the transition into integrated schools. I think that a lot of the problem comes from the way people were raised. People were raised to fear the other race, which led to an odd superiority/inferiority complex, and an misconstrued idea of the individual person. Mark Jaworski (white) wrote in his sixth grade paper that “some blacks were mean and I didn’t want to get hit or anything like that,” while Cynthia Martin (black) wrote that integrating schools was good because “blacks and whites can get to know each other and their ways.”


I cannot imagine going to school in the climate of racism in the 1970s. The stonings, beatings, and boycotts would be overwhelming. I commend the black children who were bussed into South Boston, that were ridiculed, but persisted in order to better Boston for future generations. That is not to say, however, that busing does not have lasting effects in Boston today. Not only are racial tensions between neighborhoods still present, but busing is still present. My mom is a BPS teacher, and her students are bussed from all over the city, and it’s really difficult for the younger children because they are required to wake up so much earlier to get to school on time, that they are often drowsy during the school day. In the 70s, because of busing, South Boston’s attendance was “worst in the city, averaging a daily rate of 55.6 percent, more than fourteen percentage points lower than any other Boston public school” (MacDonald). And so, a whole generation lost their education. At a time when crime rates were so high, as MacDonald tells the story of his neighbors, friends, and family members’ deaths with the lack of education. Therefore, it may be harder to get jobs which could support a family in today’s society, posing economical challenges. Outside of these few examples, Boston will be forever changed because of the busing of the 70s, and Garrity’s order to desegregate schools.


I think your interesting perspective of busing is unique because your mom works in the city of Boston. It's sad that the solution to this problem was busing younger children across the city. It raises an interesting question, did busing even help raise academic performance?

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smileyface
Posts: 17
When we were taught Reconstruction, we and most of the history books focused primarily on the South. However, the film we watched and the reading really highlighted to me how the North should definitely not be exempted from studying of the effects of desegregation. Massachusetts was always seen as the birthplace of the modern nation and a place of freethinking but as the communities within Boston became separated and isolated, it created racial divisions that were waiting to be uncovered and create clashes between separated groups. The ruling of the judge angered many for so many different reasons, but I think otherwise the divisions between the communities would only strengthen until nothing could bring them together and there would be only part of Boston a person would feel safe to walk and it would be their own neighborhood. I believe that the events that took place because of the decision were horrible and disheartening, but I do not know solution that could have happened if I was was in Garrity’s position. Equal funding across the city would be the right thing to do right from the beginning, but if it was just equal funding, then the schools would not have the diversity in them that they desperately need. If I went to school during that time, I would not know which fights to stand behind and which ones to ignore for my own safety. I do not know where my parents would be in all of this because I know they would want to protect me, but I do not know to what extent. The desegregation from that time still have visible effects to this day because in some parts, you can see that it did not really work and then in others, it worked to a certain extent. I think that because I am in BLS where it is a Boston public school, but has a lot more funding and resources than others, I will never truly know what the environment is like in other high schools. However, you are able to see that resources to get into schools like BLS are more visible and present in richer neighborhoods, which highlights the problems that we still have today regarding unequal education.
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12345678
Posts: 17

Even though the busing was very disruptive to many families I do think that the goal of desegregating was very important in moving forward in Boston. Less commotion and violence could have been better during this time but change is never easy. I both agree and disagree with Golden_Hoard, “Busing was by no means the most effective way of desegregating schools in Boston. Hundreds of kids were kept out of school, riots were held, black students were attacked, and it sparked the racial tension that had building throughout the previous years.” I agree that busing was not the best solution but no matter what happened someone was not going to be happy with desegregation in their school.

If the Boston Public Schools had not been segregated it's possible that all schools could get the funding they needed but students wouldn’t be able to meet people other than those similar to themselves. This could lead them to be shocked after graduating due to the fact that there is more diversity in in real life such as in college and in the workforce.

I wouldn’t be able to imagine what it would have been like. It would be very chaotic and ridiculous. I would have been very frustrated and if people would throw rocks or do something else I would probably do the same to them. I probably also wouldn’t even go to school just to avoid dealing with that. No kid should ever have to deal with something like that especially since it could have a lasting impact on them for years. But it was great to see the positive effects that desegregation had on students after. For example in the essay that Cynthia Martin wrote, she said that after being placed in an integrated school she had a more pleasant school experience where she could get to know more people who were both white and black.

If desegregation had never happened there would be schools that would only be of one race and students would not be sitting in classrooms the same way we do now. Given that Boston Latin is a very good school it is very likely that it would have been a school only for white people. I can’t imagine not having my friends and other people of color who are incredibly smart not be at BLS like they are today.

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Victoria FireHeart
Posts: 26

I think the desegregation of Boston was absolutely worth the busing and all of the problems it brought. What else could Boston have done? What else could the Black parents have proposed? There was a distinct difference in the funding that schools received based on the race of the majority of the students enrolled. The School Committee refused to do anything about this. Moreover, even if Black schools and White schools had equal funding, they were still largely segregated. The desegregation of schools was necessary not only to improve the education of black children, but also to desegregate Boston as well. Students need a diverse classroom as early as possible to combat stereotypes and prejudice their parents have taught them. This was not possible for Boston until 1974.

Looking at the lack of funding itself, Judge Garrity could have easily ordered the School Commitee to give more funding to the Black schools, but that would have not ended the segregation in Boston. I think that he should have considered proximity in his order, and partnered schools that were closer together. I also think Judge Garrity should have chosen schools that did not have such a steep majority, such as the schools in Roxbury for the first phase, but then all schools in Boston would be affected in the next phase. The end to desegregation in Boston had to begin in Boston Public Schools because that is where the courts had the most power. Imagine if someone had ordered for residents of Boston to be bused to different neighborhoods. The city would have been destroyed in riots by people on both sides. BPS was the only first step I see in integrating Boston and allowing people of all different colors to interact.

I cannot imagine going to school in 1974-1975 at all. Had I been one of the children chosen to be bused to South Boston, I know for sure my mother would keep me home from school because she would fear for my life. And she would have everyone reason to. I can’t imagine getting rocks, bricks, explosives, and racial slurs thrown at me every day for simply trying to get a better education. The injustice that Boston allowed (and still allows) its residents to experience is just unbelievable. As uncomfortable as I already feel being 1 of 5 black students in every class, I can’t imagine the fear I would feel in South Boston High, being 1 of a handful of Black students in the entire school. The only situation is scary to think about, and I’m glad I don’t have to live through anything like that. I’m also glad that I don’t have to go to school in an entirely Black school. Although the thought is not unbearable, I do appreciate all the different backgrounds that come together at BLS.

One of the effects of desegregation that I see in Boston, especially as a Black person, is that I’m given a better opportunity at education, one that can be considered equal (maybe) to my White peers. Had it not been for the actions of Ruth Batson and her supporters, Boston would not be at the level of equal education it is today, and BLS would have an even steeper majority of white students. One negative effect that desegregation might be having today is the rise in apartment buildings springing up all over Boston. One of the articles said that many of the White people who were enrolled in BPS, but opposed, moved to the suburbs. I think the families of these people who “fled” to the suburbs are now coming back to the Boston at high rates, and that is why it seem that a lot of people are suddenly moving to Boston. But this is just a hunch.

The article about Whitey Bulger somewhat rubbed me the wrong way. It goes without saying that it is awful that Bulger imported drugs into Southie, but the beginning of the article just sounded like excuses for the violence that the people in Southie committed against the Black students. I don’t know if South Boston High was as underfunded as the writer says it was, but that is still no excuse for the animalistic violenc the Black kids being bused in had to face. Although they make an interesting point, that Judge Garrity did not consider class when making his decision, it was not the Black kids who made their peers stay home. It was their or their parents’ decision to stay home and then drop out

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Victoria FireHeart
Posts: 26

I’ve seen a few people saying that gradual desegregation is a better solution than the immediate busing that Judge Garrity ordered. In response to that I say, how long? How long should the black parents have waited for equal education for their children? How long should the black students in Boston should have waited for textbooks, or pencils, or even a desk to sit at? How many Black students should have graduated from a subpar school? How long should we have kept Boston Public Schools segregated, even though it was against the law? How many Black students should’ve graduated without knowing how to spell. For those saying desegregation should have been a slower process, I’ll leave you with this quote by Dr. King

“Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.”

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