posts 1 - 15 of 30
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 318

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 ☹ )


  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. “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/

  1. Matthew Delmont, “The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis,” The Atlantic, March 29, 2016. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/... 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?

Again, make sure that in addition to your response, please be sure you respond to at least one previous student in the thread had to say. (You can do this within your post OR can write separately in a separate posting.)


REMEMBER: write your post in another window (not directly on the discussion board) because if you take too long, the board times out and you lose what you wrote! :-(((


hollyfawn
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9
  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

I would say both yes and no. Desegregating BPS was and is a very important and good idea. Busing of course had its pros and its cons. The students at the Holmes school had gone from majority one race schools to schools that were mixed. They expressed their support, saying that they had been nervous but that there was not a lot, if any, fighting at their school and that everyone got along for the most part. Obviously this wasn’t the case everywhere and everyone knew that. In some places things were incredibly violent and created temporary sundown towns at times. I think providing better resources for everyone was a good idea, and desegregation is obviously good, but that FORCED busing was not ideal. Obviously there are going to be some people that have a problem no matter what, but maybe the city should have provided and opened the means of transportation without forcing kids to use that transportation. Maybe they should have given some sort of encouragement or reward for sending kids across the city for the first year or two? If anyone had the solution I'm sure the problems that existed wouldn't have been so bad, and now almost 50 years later we still don’t know all the answers. More communication and cooperation always helps.


  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation is of course a worthy goal. Segregation leads to nothing good. It leads to misinformation and lack of knowledge and empathy for other people. It leads to less educated people of color and worse resources for them. It creates an endless cycle of people of color statistically getting worse treatment and having worse lives which leads to the people in charge justifying the worse treatment using the worse lives as evidence. There is no such thing as separate but equal, as we have seen. I don't think any of us have friends exclusively within our own race, so how could any of us support segregation?


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

I think change needed to happen. Like I said before, although many bad things did happen it was so necessary that the black kids in the poorer schools got the resources they needed. One of the people in the documentary we watched was shocked to find out that the majority of black students could not spell or write a sentence in proper grammar. Anyone with eyes and a brain living in Boston will tell you our city is still not as diverse as it could be. And it's no secret that communities of color, especially here, tend to have a lower average income and are considered poor. This is purposeful and the result of decades and decades of inequality. Almost everything a student knows is taught in school. BLS students especially know the importance of a good education to get into the colleges and careers you want. Also like I mentioned maybe FORCED busing was not ideal but busing in general doesn’t need to be a bad thing. Providing resources and incentive may have solved the issue in a more peaceful way. Then again the forced busing wasn’t really the problem either but the reaction to it. The reason parents were scared to send their kids across the city was because they were scared someone would hurt their children. If people, namely white people, didn’t react so negatively, the children being hurt wouldn’t have been a problem!


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

I’ve always gone to pretty diverse schools. I can’t imagine having started school with a mostly one race class and suddenly the class being very diverse. Or leaving all my friends to go to a strange new school. I think I would have been nervous but accepting. Making new friends, getting used to a new area, the long commute which I already have now, and of course a diverse environment which I also already have now would have been tolerable. Intolerable would have been the fights, violence, and racism going on. Boston can already be so bigoted, it would be terrible to go to school during an even worse time. I also can’t imagine dealing with my family I think that would be my least favorite part on a personal level. I know I would have pretty much the exact opposite opinion as them.


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

Our neighborhoods and schools are still pretty dominated by mostly one race. It's better now than it was but it's still like that in a lot of areas. However one article said that BPS went from being almost 60% white to only 14% white and a lot more diverse which is great! Also, classrooms are a lot more diverse now and we see that in action every day.

siri/alexa
Dorchester, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Boston redlining and desegregation

Desegregation is a very important cause and was a grave problem at that time. Black parents were simply advocating for their children, and wanted to finally rise up and fight for the rights that should have already been applied to them. Although the bussing system did change some things, I feel there could have been a different and maybe even better way of going about it. There could have been another tactic that could have made the transition smoother for the people in the neighborhood and the students. I personally couldn't even imagine going through that, because the things I would do if someone tried to talk to me in those derogatory terms or tried to throw something at me, and it's said that Black parents had to teach their kids how to not react to these situations for fear of being killed or getting in real trouble. And I can say that desegregation was a worthy goal, because as a Black girl living in Boston, right around the corner from Southie, I wouldn't be able to do some of the things I do today or have the privilege of going to Boston Latin School.

Change did and still needs to happen in the Boston Public school system and other systems, because school integration is more than just having white and black students in the same classroom, it is also the equity within the funding going towards each school and student. People refuse to believe that unconstitutional school segregation existed outside the south because there is this idea that the North is “better”, but the only thing the North is “better” at is masking their unjustness and problems. There is still a continuing racial and socioeconomic segregation in the U.S and in Boston...

  • Private schools, pricing and their lack of diversity in the student body
  • Schools with more black and poc students have significantly less funding, and have unreliable staff and teachers( my old school, with a majority black and Hispanic population, got our language department cut, we lost so many teachers, our art department almost got cut, and it doesn't even provide the curriculum needed to prepare students for a test like the ISEE, MCAS, or the curriculum for going to another school like BLS)

siri/alexa
Dorchester, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Replying to hollyfawn

I agree with you on the point about its effects being visible today using the example of racial domination in Boston neighborhoods. I live on the border of Dorchester and Southie. As soo as I walk 1-2 minutes from my house I'm in southie and I can see the population difference, in my neighborhood there are mostly hispanic and black people, but when I get to southie all I see are white people.

StaphInfarction
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

(I read 2,3, and 5)

1. I think that the ends absolutely justified the means. Desegregation (especially in an inherently racist city like Boston) is always going to be sodium on water, especially evident by South Boston protestors throwing molotov cocktails into the houses of innocent black families. However, I still believe that it was worth it, despite the bloodshed. The hate evaporates, but only if you put heat on it, and it's going to boil first. That's the big reason forced busing was so hated by many in the first place; it was a disruption to the status quo. But once you do it long enough, the new precedent becomes the status quo for the new generation, and I think that should be and was the goal.

2. Absolutely it's a worthy goal. The main issue with the "separate but equal" argument is that they're not equal (Which I agree). But, even assuming they were equal, it should not be the duty of humanity to abide by arbitrary borders simply because everyone just agrees they have to be there. There is something to be gained from learning more, and one of the best ways to educate yourself is to talk to people with different experiences than you.

3. Change was necessary, as highlighted in my previous response integration is one of the best educations one can get.

4. I honestly cannot, no amount of video or interviews, while shocking and eye-opening, can compare to the gripping, paralyzing fear felt by students in Boston at that time. I think that a lot of what was acceptable then is acceptable now, you just have to be more "hush-hush" about it. Especially with the hate crimes and footage we've seen that have ocurred in just the past 8 years.

5. Definitely the better representative ratio of race in schools. I personally think that every public school should have the most accurate race metric to the district it's in as possible (Without using quotas), so what we are seeing now is a step in the right direction.

StaphInfarction
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Replying to siri/alexa

I absolutely agree that there is this idea that "racism only existed in the South". Especially with the air of superiority in a lot of Northern places because we fought the confederacy, it makes it more difficult to combat a problem when no one wants to look at it.

mustardspider
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

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

Desegregating BPS justified busing kids to other neighborhoods and was a worthy goal. Part of being a good citizen is extending yourself past just your own community, and this is nearly impossible if students grow up with only those just like them. The hate and violence that stemmed from the busing was unacceptable and cruel to the children, but worth persevering through for the increased integration of the school system. It should not have been an issue, however, and the violence against innocent children should not have been part of the integration of the Boston Public Schools.

Change needed to happen in the Boston Public Schools because the pre-remedy system was essentially still segregation. The primarily white schools were favored in funding and resources, while primarily black schools were left fend for themselves. Without forced integration and mixing of neighborhoods, this unequal treatment would've just continued, and this was, while not the most peaceful path to take, the necessary one.

Nothing about the school environment of 1974-1975 seems tolerable. We could preach about increased diversity, acceptance, and equality, but the reality is that innocent black children were targeted. South Boston parents kept their children out of schools as if the Roxbury kids were the plague and they held violent protests against the busing, physiologically and physically attacking the black children. There is simply no tolerable side of protesting someone's mere physical presence.

There are still lingering effects of both sides of the busing debate, as Boston remains one of the most segregated cities in the country, but busing programs like METCO actively fight to desegregate the education system. The BPS lottery places children in spots across the city, and a West Roxbury kid like myself was placed into a Roxbury public school. However, despite busing efforts, many schools remain racially imbalanced and funding continues to be distributed inequitably.

I disagree with hollyfawn's point that "FORCED busing was not ideal." Most families in South Boston were extremely against the integration of the school system, and it would've been impossible without mandating the busing. Encouragement or reward was not enough to trump the inherent racism and violence of South Boston when receiving the Roxbury kids, and the program would've failed if it was optional.

Curious George
Boston, MA
Posts: 10

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

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

  • Although many would widely consider busing unsuccessful, there is a reason why the Supreme Court believed it needed to be implemented. Busing placed many young children in dangerous situations, but it seemed to be a last resort as the School Committee refused to fund predominantly Black schools as much as their white schools. With the greatest goal in mind to desegregate public education, something needed to be done through any means necessary

Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

  • No matter how someone feels about busing, desegregation in any institution is necessary. Segregation is racist and the idea of “separate but equal” is a lie. Desegregation is not interchangeable with equality, but it must be achieved to overcome inequality

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 definitely needed to happen. As I said earlier, Garrity’s ruling seemed like a last resort solution because black parents had gone to the School Committee multiple times before taking them to court. Though I am sure Garrity could’ve created a better solution rather than insert young children in dangerous positions

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

  • I cannot imagine the school environment at that time because of its divisiveness and physical violence. Even though racism is prevalent in schools today and students tend to separate themselves by race, it is quieter and behind the scenes, while black nd white students would get into 10-15 fights daily. Even on the commute, young children were very scared of grown adults throwing hard objects with the intent to harm them. It would have been intolerable to have to commute >1 hour just to get to school every morning while there’d be a school down the street.

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

  • Although there is clearly more diversity in schools today compared to the 70s, I’d argue that schools are still pretty segregated within themselves and between other schools. It has to be known that desgragating education is only a portion of a larger issue. Residency is still segregated, which is why schools are still segregated. And within the schools, BLS for example, kids entering the schools will usually stick with other kids that look like them or are from their towns.

Another thing I'd like to point out that Bosotn/MA residents as a whole like to pride themselves on being one of the most educated states, but do not consider who is getting the education

Curious George
Boston, MA
Posts: 10

Respond to siri/alexa

Originally posted by siri/alexa on October 27, 2022 14:08

Desegregation is a very important cause and was a grave problem at that time. Black parents were simply advocating for their children, and wanted to finally rise up and fight for the rights that should have already been applied to them. Although the bussing system did change some things, I feel there could have been a different and maybe even better way of going about it. There could have been another tactic that could have made the transition smoother for the people in the neighborhood and the students. I personally couldn't even imagine going through that, because the things I would do if someone tried to talk to me in those derogatory terms or tried to throw something at me, and it's said that Black parents had to teach their kids how to not react to these situations for fear of being killed or getting in real trouble. And I can say that desegregation was a worthy goal, because as a Black girl living in Boston, right around the corner from Southie, I wouldn't be able to do some of the things I do today or have the privilege of going to Boston Latin School.

Change did and still needs to happen in the Boston Public school system and other systems, because school integration is more than just having white and black students in the same classroom, it is also the equity within the funding going towards each school and student. People refuse to believe that unconstitutional school segregation existed outside the south because there is this idea that the North is “better”, but the only thing the North is “better” at is masking their unjustness and problems. There is still a continuing racial and socioeconomic segregation in the U.S and in Boston...

  • Private schools, pricing and their lack of diversity in the student body
  • Schools with more black and poc students have significantly less funding, and have unreliable staff and teachers( my old school, with a majority black and Hispanic population, got our language department cut, we lost so many teachers, our art department almost got cut, and it doesn't even provide the curriculum needed to prepare students for a test like the ISEE, MCAS, or the curriculum for going to another school like BLS)

I agree that the North and Boston residents like to pride themselves as being better than the South because they are "less racist" and that they are only better at masking it (now, not during the 70s)

deviouseggplant24
US
Posts: 8

1: The ends justified the means because desegregating education was a necessary step in moving on from Boston's racist past. Though bussing created violence and prevented students from learning, many of the children expressed that they had their best school year in an integrated school. In WGBH's "Echoes of Boston's Busing Crisis", black students said that they were glad to share meals with their white friends and get experiences not available before such as field trips.

2: Desegregation of Boston Public Schools was a worthy goal with the imbalance of opportunities in predominantly black schools. There were so many struggles in the segregated schools. Despite the fact that in Roxbury and Southie, the schools were unfunded in both places, the white students still had an advantage. The goal to desegregate schools was still important regardless of the involved finances.

3: Change was certainly necessary for Boston Public Schools. Black people faced a disadvantage compared to the white schools that were often praised for their high-level students, which was only due to their budget, which the black schools didn't have. The black schools never received the resources necessary to produce such students. There might have been other ways in which desegregation could have been achieved, but nevertheless, something needed to be done. America could not have followed the dark road of segregation any longer, making the change 100% necesary.

4: Although it is much different looking at the situation with a modern set of eyes, I still think being bussed across the city if I lived right next to a school would have been somewhat maddening/intolerable. I get why it was done, and why the bussing was a necessary step to desegregate Boston Public Schools, but I also completely understand those upset about the bussing, rather than being racist against the African Americans.

5: A somewhat obvious answer, but schools are relatively diverse, especially compared to those even after the bussing started. At my old school, there were more people of color than those not, and the school had a strong and supportive community. I have seen similarities with BLS as well. Every student can at least see one similarity between them and another student, whether about race or their identity.

i_love_pink
US
Posts: 6

Boston redlining and desegregation

1. Desegregating bps was the right choice. It was a hard first step towards a more diverse school district as it resulted in putting students of color in danger. The buses that would take these kids to schools would be attacked by liberals who didn't want their children to go to the same school as black students. You would see buses getting eggs thrown at them and with broken windows, it got so bad police men would have to escort some buses just to ensure their safety.


2. Desegregation is definitely a worthy goal. "Separate but equal" worked as a loophole and does not exist, those two words literally contradict each other. To put this more into perspective, the “separate but equal” doctrine allowed the US government to keep in place the Jim Crow laws (in place from 1877-1950) despite the fourteenth amendment. Boston had the right idea to desegregate but should've come up with better solutions to make the transition easier for all.


3. A change needed to be made, it was absolutely necessary for the Public Schools in Boston. All students should have the equal opportunity to a good education regardless of their race. Like I said before, it was rough for these students and their families to be able to be so vulnerable, it isn't a fair fight but it was one that needed to be fought for equity.


4. I couldn't imagine how scary and nerve wracking it must have been for the students to have to go into a completely new environment where people were protesting for them to leave. The way they were treated, nothing seemed tolerable. The amount of violence and stress these students experienced and might have felt is just unimaginable.


5. The most visible effects of the desegregation era of 1974-1975 I would say is the diversity within Boston Public Schools today which is represented by the percentages of race in different schools. At BLS specifically, after the removal of the ISEE, there have been more students being accepted that are black or of color compared to when the exam was still in place.

princess
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

1. I can see busing as a necessary means that promotes desegregation in Boston public schools but to say busing is justifiable because of such ends is debatable. Busing seemed to be a turning point for a lot of students and parents. As we saw in the videos in class, violence became a commonality in everyday life and children going to these schools in white neighborhoods constantly had people throwing rocks and other objects. During this time there were a lot of unjustifiable actions and beliefs that were ingrained. In the article “Did busing slow Boston’s desegregation?” a rise of racism and hatred occurred after busing became a reality. Students like Junior experience violence from people they used to be friends with, and this impacted him for the rest of his life. Although there were a lot of radical opinions and actions being thrown around during this time, busing played a vital role in promoting integration between the black and white communities and created a way for the city to confront its opposition towards each other.


2. Desegregation is a worthy goal because it allows people to confront other identities and educate themselves on the humanity of others. Batson, a black mother, fought for integration and went up against the power structure within Boston. She acknowledged how being integrated was vital for the education system and helped kids be raised to be more accepting. Communities are often divided by race and identity within a city, and this allows for poc communities to be disproportionately impacted by poor conditions, especially in the school system. Integration can provide better educational opportunities and environments for more students of color.


3. I think change needed to happen in Boston Public schools especially because it involved the education of kids. Even though busing and integration were new for families in the 70s, it was vital for encouraging change and striving for a more equitable system.


4. I could not imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975 because it is so difficult to wrap my head around how racist Boston really was. I would not know how to react to all the violence. Many of these students of color struggled with this treatment and in turn, had a really hard time overall. In “Echoes of Boston’s Busing Crisis” some black students often doubted themselves and seemed to have little hope of achieving academic success.


5. I think in today’s world, schools are still very divided. Schools in low-income areas lack funding which continues to target families of color. After busing many white families moved to the suburbs as well, and in MA we can see how they attain more funding and a chance to have better-developed schools.

deviouseggplant24
US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by siri/alexa on October 27, 2022 14:08

Desegregation is a very important cause and was a grave problem at that time. Black parents were simply advocating for their children, and wanted to finally rise up and fight for the rights that should have already been applied to them. Although the bussing system did change some things, I feel there could have been a different and maybe even better way of going about it. There could have been another tactic that could have made the transition smoother for the people in the neighborhood and the students. I personally couldn't even imagine going through that, because the things I would do if someone tried to talk to me in those derogatory terms or tried to throw something at me, and it's said that Black parents had to teach their kids how to not react to these situations for fear of being killed or getting in real trouble. And I can say that desegregation was a worthy goal, because as a Black girl living in Boston, right around the corner from Southie, I wouldn't be able to do some of the things I do today or have the privilege of going to Boston Latin School.

Change did and still needs to happen in the Boston Public school system and other systems, because school integration is more than just having white and black students in the same classroom, it is also the equity within the funding going towards each school and student. People refuse to believe that unconstitutional school segregation existed outside the south because there is this idea that the North is “better”, but the only thing the North is “better” at is masking their unjustness and problems. There is still a continuing racial and socioeconomic segregation in the U.S and in Boston...

  • Private schools, pricing and their lack of diversity in the student body
  • Schools with more black and poc students have significantly less funding, and have unreliable staff and teachers( my old school, with a majority black and Hispanic population, got our language department cut, we lost so many teachers, our art department almost got cut, and it doesn't even provide the curriculum needed to prepare students for a test like the ISEE, MCAS, or the curriculum for going to another school like BLS)

I agree with your point of the North not being better than the South at anything other than hiding the truth. I see it all the time in school when talking about race and its past in America, the concrete split between the North and the South. People don't even realize that the North also very much benefited off slavery in their own states, and even issues with segregation were just as prevelant as they were in the South.

moioma
Boston , MA, US
Posts: 10

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 end justifies the means, however that is not to say that forced busing was the best option. The lengthy and laborious process of desegregation had to start somewhere. The busing issue itself was representative of a much deeper national issue; the internalized and underlying discrimination throughout Boston’s white community and other Northern communities. In the Atlantic article, “The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis,” author Michael Delmont details how opposing busing was a move by white communities “that obscured the histories of racial discrimination and legal contexts for desegregation orders.” Discrimination in the North was harder to pin-point so without taking action and enforcing busing in Boston Public Schools, when would the nation realize the amount of concealed racism that persisted in Northern institutions and legislations? The battle of busing and desegregation helped to uncover the disturbingly intense racism and hatred that existed nationwide. It also showed communities of color that the fight for equality was far from over.


Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation was 100% a worthy goal. Children are significantly more impressionable and more open minded when it comes to social constructs like race. By implementing practices that allow for children to be exposed to a range of backgrounds and identities, it enables them to grow up as more accepting individuals. Despite the numerous benefits of a diverse classroom, the dream of a desegregated school system was more than just a mixed classroom. Delmont explains that, Americans’ understanding of school desegregation in the North is skewed” and fails to address a plethora of discriminatory practices beyond segregated school systems including “housing covenants, federal mortgage redlining, public-housing segregation, white homeowners associations, and discriminatory real-estate practices.” These practices “produced and maintained segregated neighborhoods, as well as the policies regarding school siting, districting, and student transfers that produced and maintained segregated schools.” Desegregation involves equality beyond school and is a crucial step in ensuring that the United States is a land of freedom, justice, and equality---as it claims to be---for all its citizens.


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 many Northern neighborhoods, not just Boston Public Schools. With that being said, there could have been safer and more effective alternatives. My biggest issue with Judge Garrity's decision was that black and white children were in danger everyday for attending school---a basic human right. I wonder if the transition could have begun by improving school conditions and allotting the necessary resources. This includes distributing more qualified and experienced staff and teachers in underfunded districts and classrooms. Michael Patrick MacDonald from the article, “Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation,” adds that “National news…[focuses] only on the scenes of inexcusable racist violence, without examining any of the equally important class manipulation at play.” Judge Garrity’s decision sent “African American students into a school that, in spite of its predominant complexion, was as bad if not worse than the one they came from. The solution involved more than just joining two schools but addressing the corrupt and imprecise distribution of funds and resources to BPS districts. Especially to the civil rights leaders and advocates, properly funded schools dicated the future of their kids. The fight for black parents was about seeing their kids with the same opportunities as their white counterparts. It was about being on an equal playing field that provided them with the same jobs, the same resources, and the same financial security.


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

I would be absolutely terrified as my parents greatly value education so I doubt they would have pulled me out of school. After reading the account of several students who participated in the busing from the article, “History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus,” I think the bus ride to and from school would be nearly intolerable. I can not imagine the amount of anxiety and fear the children had to endure daily. Nevertheless, some individuals like Aileen Dunner “who grew up in an integrated neighborhood…felt no trepidation…no racial tension.” Her experience with “no protesters, no bitter confrontations, and no heavy police presence,” would have been drastically more tolerable.


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

The persisting inequalities between elementary and secondary schools around Boston as well as the sharp racial division of certain neighborhoods and school systems. As I mentioned before, one of the biggest issues with the busing solution was the lack of attention on the distribution of resources like qualified teachers and up to date materials. Funding is still an issue today especially now with Boston's growing wealth gap due to increased gentrification. MacDonald from “Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation,” agrees that “it can be felt most profoundly today in the reality that poor and working class people of all complexions can no longer afford to live in that city whose turf we fought over, died on, and ultimately lost to speculators and developers who—just like the politicians, policymakers, and gangsters whose careers were made during busing—had none of us in mind.”
moioma
Boston , MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by princess on October 27, 2022 21:25

1. I can see busing as a necessary means that promotes desegregation in Boston public schools but to say busing is justifiable because of such ends is debatable. Busing seemed to be a turning point for a lot of students and parents. As we saw in the videos in class, violence became a commonality in everyday life and children going to these schools in white neighborhoods constantly had people throwing rocks and other objects. During this time there were a lot of unjustifiable actions and beliefs that were ingrained. In the article “Did busing slow Boston’s desegregation?” a rise of racism and hatred occurred after busing became a reality. Students like Junior experience violence from people they used to be friends with, and this impacted him for the rest of his life. Although there were a lot of radical opinions and actions being thrown around during this time, busing played a vital role in promoting integration between the black and white communities and created a way for the city to confront its opposition towards each other.


2. Desegregation is a worthy goal because it allows people to confront other identities and educate themselves on the humanity of others. Batson, a black mother, fought for integration and went up against the power structure within Boston. She acknowledged how being integrated was vital for the education system and helped kids be raised to be more accepting. Communities are often divided by race and identity within a city, and this allows for poc communities to be disproportionately impacted by poor conditions, especially in the school system. Integration can provide better educational opportunities and environments for more students of color.


3. I think change needed to happen in Boston Public schools especially because it involved the education of kids. Even though busing and integration were new for families in the 70s, it was vital for encouraging change and striving for a more equitable system.


4. I could not imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975 because it is so difficult to wrap my head around how racist Boston really was. I would not know how to react to all the violence. Many of these students of color struggled with this treatment and in turn, had a really hard time overall. In “Echoes of Boston’s Busing Crisis” some black students often doubted themselves and seemed to have little hope of achieving academic success.


5. I think in today’s world, schools are still very divided. Schools in low-income areas lack funding which continues to target families of color. After busing many white families moved to the suburbs as well, and in MA we can see how they attain more funding and a chance to have better-developed schools.

Post your response here.

I also find it incredibly hard to imagine Boston during the 1970s. Especially since it wasn't too long ago. Massachusetts to me has always had a reputation for being one of America's more politically liberal states, but the busing incidents during Massachusetts' desegregation era clearly suggest a darker past.

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