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! :-(((


BigGulpFrom711
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Boston's Desegregation and its Legacy

The end of desegregating the Boston Public Schools was a good idea, as the Committee still opposed integration of schools. However, the means of doing so, with forced busing, was a horrible idea. Forcing a group of people, or even a singular person, to do something will make matters feel like a chore or even backlash. This was the exact reaction that occurred when Roxbury and South Boston were forced to undergo busing. There would just be senseless violence from both sides, both black and white.


Desegregation was a worthy goal, but the execution of it was horrible. The way it was carried out felt like it was the last item on a to-do list, the lowest priority. It didn’t seem like Garrity took into consideration ideas suggested by upset parents, rather doing the first thing he thought of in his head. As a result, the outcome was much different from expectations. However, I believe that the results were only so poor because of perspective and progression in society. Both black people and white people had a very negative view of each other, with the video even showing that a young boy believed it was extremely unfair that he would get stoned for trying to walk into a white school. Yet, when a white boy tries to go into a school that is in a part of Boston with a lot of black people, there is no retaliation, no violence. However, this sense of “peace” would be shut down, as they begin to also stone white people later on. Violence can only lead to more violence.


Regarding the Boston School Committee’s decision to ignore integration of schools, there were changes that needed to absolutely be made. Keeping segregated schools was an unconstitutional decision that had to be corrected, but Garrity’s solution was not the best. There was already a time issue, with the court order being authorized a mere 3 months before the school year would start. Again, there was also the issue of forcing the busing, resulting in many reluctant parents that were worried for their children’s safety. Many of these children had to leave the safety of their neighborhood, leading to fear, confusion, and anger. This could be seen in the article “History rolled in a yellow school bus” published by the Boston Globe, where Peggy Cosetta shared her concern about how “She felt like her family was caught in a nightmare. What right did the government have to force her son to leave the safety of his own neighborhood?” (Irons 5), worried about what may happen to her son, such as a fight or tension. There were definitely other solutions, such as strengthening black schools and a voluntary bus program. I believe that black schools should’ve first received the funding that was supposed to go to the busing program, giving black schools supplies, a stable environment to learn, and hiring enough teachers to teach the children. With this, parents won’t have to worry about their children not getting a proper education, as well as not having to constantly be concerned about their children. The next solution that could’ve occurred is a voluntary school bus program. Since both black and white schools would hopefully receive the same amount of funding and receive equal treatment, parents should get the option to voluntarily send their children to a school in a different part of Boston. However, this voluntary program should be sent a couple of months or a year before it is executed, giving parents time to think it over. This should allow schools to slowly integrate, giving both the time and resources necessary to desegregate schools.



Regarding the experience of whether or not I can imagine going to school in 1974-1975, I cannot imagine a good experience. A segregated school would have poor school supplies, a broken down or old school, and very cramped classrooms. The chances of me being illiterate would be extremely high, as well as knowing things like basic math and science. These conditions would be a black and white contrast between the school I attend today and a segregated school, with many conditions being extremely intolerable. If I were to go to a white school, I would most likely be afraid of myself, and possibly even hate the color of my skin. There would be better supplies, a clean and large classroom, and learning how to read and write. However, all of that would come at the cost of my being as a person, both physically and mentally. I would get discriminated against, ranging from slurs to violence, as well as constant tension with other people. In that time period between 1974-1975, when schools were slowly being desegregated, it would’ve been better for me to not go to school at all.


The biggest effect of the desegregation era of 1974-1975 would be the massive drop of students within the BPS district and the integration of schools. However, the drop of students within the BPS district was due to many white parents taking their children out of the public school system and putting them in private schools. The hatred and prejudice has still not disappeared, but it has instead replaced it with a different face. The integration of schools would be the lasting effect, allowing more families of different incomes and races. However, the effects of redlining and gentrification are still in effect today, with many schools being affected. Despite being integrated, many schools tend to have one race that is the vast majority of the population, stemming from regions of Boston having racial boundaries.

lil breezy
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

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

I would lean towards the statement that the ends justify the means, but I do think everything could have been handled way differently. When I was reading the essays from the old 6th graders, I learned that some of the white kids didn’t really want to go to an integrated school because they heard it was bad. But after their first days, they seemed to be getting along with everyone just fine. They really enjoyed it, and so they could spread the idea that integrated schools are good to their other friends who may have doubted it. It was probably very different for older kids and Southie. I think young children are usually able to make friends easier and just see people as people. In one of the articles, one of the white teens didn’t have a problem integrating, because she had grown up in a pretty integrated area. But this is exactly why they needed to bus kids, especially young ones. Many white people had a preconceived notion about black people, even if they had never interacted with them, and so busing allowed for these children to understand why they were wrong.


While desegregation was a worthy goal, officials had to have known it would have taken a very long time and a lot of struggling. In one of the films we watched in class, two black men were talking, and one guy kept reminding the other guy that “it’s going to take time.” He essentially said that every day there should be less and less protesters. Honestly, officials needed to prepare way more, especially for the first day of school. I understand it is difficult to calm down such a crowd, but I doubt there were any consequences for the racist protesters who were throwing rocks at young children.


I am sure there were other solutions to Judge Garridy’s remedy, but I am not sure what they are if they would have worked. I feel like many white people used the excuse “they’re tearing us apart” to be racist. Yes, the white kids were being taken away to a farther school, but so were the black kids. I think that if everyone from Roxbury had to bus to Southie, it would have been unfair to the black kids, especially considering they have already dealt with enough. Busing forced white people to see the perspective of black people, and they didn’t like it. They were scared when their children were being harassed (as they should be scared), as one of the white mothers said in an article, but that was what black people had to deal with daily, and in reality, the harassment was targeted towards the black kids, not the white ones.


I feel I definitely could tolerate being bused to someone far away from home. Sure, I may have been scared to be far from my family, but I would eventually think of it as fun. I may be biased since I am so used to commuting far. I honestly don’t know what else I would have to tolerate because I am not black, so I can’t really put myself in that position. In one of the articles, I found out that in East Boston, many white kids would physically harass black families. The thing is, these kids used to be friends with the black kids in these families. One boy set his old friend's house on fire. Majority of the black families ended up moving out, except for one lady, so obviously the activity in Eastie was intolerable. I also think that going to school would be tolerable, yet stressful, considering the mobs of people protesting. But again, I am not black, so I wouldn’t be getting stoned, I cannot imagine how scared the black children felt.


I think the most visible effect is looking at a classroom today. Maybe not at BLS, considering the majority is white. But in other schools, there is a variety of kids, all who seem to get along pretty well for the most part. While racism is definitely still very present in schools, I like to think it isn’t as prevalent. Schools also claim that they are less tolerant of racism now, which may not always be the case, but I feel like before busing, schools would simply brush over racism and not even have rules against it.



BigGulpFrom711 made an interesting point about the means being a horrible idea to reach desegregation. I do agree that forcing people to commute far from home would obviously cause backlash, but I feel that may have been one of their only options. I doubt that white families would voluntarily want their children to go to an integrated school. This was just a very small price white people had to pay in order to lessen the racism in Boston. The post also said that it would lead to violence in both black and white communities, but in Roxbury, the schools didn have any protest. This was an area that had mostly black people, and they were outraged about busing, and they weren violent. They were most likely grateful their kids would get better educations than the underfunded schools they had to attend. I am sure the parents were also fearful, knowing that many racists would be very violent.


chimken
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 4

😍

1. Desegregating schools was definitely necessary, but busing was a very sudden and unsafe for all students. I believe that they should've taken a slower and safer approach instead of sending lots of students at once. Additionally they could've been a bit more discrete and punishing of the violence that was ensued on the African-American students. At the end of the day, any attempt to desegregate is justified since its for a better cause, in this case I think it could've been executed better.

2. Yes, segregation is a worthy goal since it would "level" out the playing field (although not completely) and would allow black kids to earn an adequate education and all the benefits that comes from that.

3. I don't think you can really alter Garrity's plan much. Although white families complained about being torn apart, the black families experienced the same thing. White families complaining about predominately black schools only proves that there is a problem. Having these children integrated in different schools would offer children varying perspectives.Although this would initially lead to violence and chaos, it would end in understanding.

4. Early on, I think the entire process as a whole would've been intolerable. This process was very violent on both ends and was filled with hate. Despite this, black children had it much worse since they were constantly stoned and harassed by students and citizens alike. On the other hand, white children faced lots of adversity within the predominately black schools, but not much from the citizens of Roxbury.

5. Schools as a result have become very diverse (for the most part) and have open doors regardless of race. Despite this, these events didn't happen an incredibly long time ago, many of these people still resent desegregation and may teach these beliefs to their children.

Adding on the lil breezy's comment, I believe officials should've made an effort in contacting white families that wouldn't mind enlisting their children in Roxbury since there's bound to be exceptions. But at the end of the day, this process, despite its destructiveness, was necessary and difficult to carry on any other way.


arcoiris18
BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 10

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

I think the desegregation of public schools was a worthy goal because segregating schools resulted in an unfair upper hand for predominantly white schools which are ultimately better. There is no easy way to convince people to change the way they live their lives, especially when this comes to race. The idea of busing is a good one because it allowed for the mixing of students from all over the city which was trying to create integrated schools, but it created lasting trauma. I don't think busing was the issue when it comes to the trauma surrounding desegregating, it is the white people who were so disgusted at the thought of equality that they threatened children. I think in the end the busing was justified because it started the slow trend of making the schools more equal but the city could have done more to protect the children who were pushed into dangerous environments as a result of the busing. In general, creating more equality is always the right goal but the way we get there is important because if it creates damage people start to wonder if it is even worth it.

I think the change needed to happen in Boston's school system because it is crazy that as recently as the 70s' schools were still racially divided. Anything else Judge Arthur would have done would have only been a band-aid instead of doing any actual good because the school system needed the push of fully desegregating for any amount of change to happen. If the judge would have said a smaller fix it would have taken even longer to create the small amount of change we have today.

The school environment of 1974-1975 would have been a scary one. As someone who would have gone to an all-black school, being forced to go across the city to a school I wasn't wanted at would be scary, especially at a young age. I don't think I would have been able to tolerate being in that kind of environment, one where everyday my life would be in danger. Being with other kids going through the same experience would have made it a little better, like bonding through trauma, but I would still be afraid.

Even today Boston's school system isn't fully integrated because you still see large racial gaps in schools depending on the neighbors they're in. Our city is still largely divided by race throughout the neighborhoods, which makes the schools in those neighborhoods largely one race. An effect of the desegregation era was the increased enrollment of white people into private schools. Private schools were created to be exclusive to people with the privilege to send their kids there, which is the majority of white people. This leads to a lot of money, which means resources, going into those schools rather than to public schools. Our school system is largely people of color and largely underfunded. This again creates schools where the education is worse for people of color while private, majority white, schools have millions of dollars to educate their students. Also because the school system is still largely racially divided the mixing of people and experiences is lost, meaning schools in which the student body is one majority race miss out on the cross-cultural that schools that are more balanced have. This creates a bubble for students at majority-white schools because their views of the lives of people of color are so limited they become uneducated. This leads to them going through life with ignorance about the lives of the people around them.

arcoiris18
BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by chimken on October 27, 2022 13:17

1. Desegregating schools was definitely necessary, but busing was a very sudden and unsafe for all students. I believe that they should've taken a slower and safer approach instead of sending lots of students at once. Additionally they could've been a bit more discrete and punishing of the violence that was ensued on the African-American students. At the end of the day, any attempt to desegregate is justified since its for a better cause, in this case I think it could've been executed better.

2. Yes, segregation is a worthy goal since it would "level" out the playing field (although not completely) and would allow black kids to earn an adequate education and all the benefits that comes from that.

3. I don't think you can really alter Garrity's plan much. Although white families complained about being torn apart, the black families experienced the same thing. White families complaining about predominately black schools only proves that there is a problem. Having these children integrated in different schools would offer children varying perspectives.Although this would initially lead to violence and chaos, it would end in understanding.

4. Early on, I think the entire process as a whole would've been intolerable. This process was very violent on both ends and was filled with hate. Despite this, black children had it much worse since they were constantly stoned and harassed by students and citizens alike. On the other hand, white children faced lots of adversity within the predominately black schools, but not much from the citizens of Roxbury.

5. Schools as a result have become very diverse (for the most part) and have open doors regardless of race. Despite this, these events didn't happen an incredibly long time ago, many of these people still resent desegregation and may teach these beliefs to their children.

Adding on the lil breezy's comment, I believe officials should've made an effort in contacting white families that wouldn't mind enlisting their children in Roxbury since there's bound to be exceptions. But at the end of the day, this process, despite its destructiveness, was necessary and difficult to carry on any other way.


Post your response here.

I agree with you're thinking that busing could have been executed better, and maybe in a slower way instead of the very hard and sudden way it was introduced. Also, I think the city could have done better planning to ensure busing went more smoothly because they had the right idea but they couldn't execute it in the best way. The city should have been involved from the beginning making sure the violence was minable, or at least intervening more when there was a lot of violence.

BigGulpFrom711
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by arcoiris18 on October 27, 2022 16:52

I think the desegregation of public schools was a worthy goal because segregating schools resulted in an unfair upper hand for predominantly white schools which are ultimately better. There is no easy way to convince people to change the way they live their lives, especially when this comes to race. The idea of busing is a good one because it allowed for the mixing of students from all over the city which was trying to create integrated schools, but it created lasting trauma. I don't think busing was the issue when it comes to the trauma surrounding desegregating, it is the white people who were so disgusted at the thought of equality that they threatened children. I think in the end the busing was justified because it started the slow trend of making the schools more equal but the city could have done more to protect the children who were pushed into dangerous environments as a result of the busing. In general, creating more equality is always the right goal but the way we get there is important because if it creates damage people start to wonder if it is even worth it.

I think the change needed to happen in Boston's school system because it is crazy that as recently as the 70s' schools were still racially divided. Anything else Judge Arthur would have done would have only been a band-aid instead of doing any actual good because the school system needed the push of fully desegregating for any amount of change to happen. If the judge would have said a smaller fix it would have taken even longer to create the small amount of change we have today.

The school environment of 1974-1975 would have been a scary one. As someone who would have gone to an all-black school, being forced to go across the city to a school I wasn't wanted at would be scary, especially at a young age. I don't think I would have been able to tolerate being in that kind of environment, one where everyday my life would be in danger. Being with other kids going through the same experience would have made it a little better, like bonding through trauma, but I would still be afraid.

Even today Boston's school system isn't fully integrated because you still see large racial gaps in schools depending on the neighbors they're in. Our city is still largely divided by race throughout the neighborhoods, which makes the schools in those neighborhoods largely one race. An effect of the desegregation era was the increased enrollment of white people into private schools. Private schools were created to be exclusive to people with the privilege to send their kids there, which is the majority of white people. This leads to a lot of money, which means resources, going into those schools rather than to public schools. Our school system is largely people of color and largely underfunded. This again creates schools where the education is worse for people of color while private, majority white, schools have millions of dollars to educate their students. Also because the school system is still largely racially divided the mixing of people and experiences is lost, meaning schools in which the student body is one majority race miss out on the cross-cultural that schools that are more balanced have. This creates a bubble for students at majority-white schools because their views of the lives of people of color are so limited they become uneducated. This leads to them going through life with ignorance about the lives of the people around them.

What you said about there being trauma among the kids forced to go to other schools was not something I had thought about until you brought it up. The idea that there should've been some sort of advisors or consultants to get the opinions of the forced children, as well as how they feel was a very real possibility that could've occurred.

glass
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9
  • 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?

In my opinion, I think that while they had the right motivation it was carried out so horrifically that in the end the busing was not excused because there were much better ways to do that. I'm sure they knew this would tear people apart and I think because of that factor people in charge could have used it as a way not only to continue the racist ideals in the system but to discourage others from trying to change it. I think that the goal was a respectable one but they put in an effort to come up with ideas that were minimum, to say the least. Yes changes absolutely needed to happen no matter what but the way in which they went for it was so half-assed and not at all what was needed. The fact that kids ex-best friends would set fire to their yards??? like what in the world I can't even imagine. Of course, there were other solutions but the people in charge (mostly white guys) decided to force little babies to go be stoned and literally assaulted and placed a sticker on the whole thing calling it progress. *Children should not be terrified to go to school* I cannot imagine what it would be like at all, I would be terrified to go to school but would still go and try to stick up for what's right. I wonder if people were outcasts within cliques at school for doing so. The most visible effects I would say are BLS taking attendance by race, schools being more predominantly one race, and the large inequalities within the funding of the education system.

purplehibiscus
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

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?

Having all of the information we do now I don't think the desegregation of school justifies busing because of all the harm it caused, desegregation was definitely a worthy goal but it was handled so poorly. I don't think all of the harm the government caused was intentional but if they had been a little more mindful about the effects these decisions would have, a better solution would have been used. In Stockmans article “Did busing slow Boston desegregation?” I learned about a lot of the ways busing still effects our city, as tensions were growing many black families left neighborhoods because white families were turning them into targets further segregating the city. The change needed to happen, there probably were other solutions but they would've taken much longer to go into effect. I think busing should've happened with younger grades not high schoolers. The transition would've been much smoother because when you're in younger grades you aren't as aware of the prejudices people have and are a lot more accepting of new people and ideas. Busing caused high drop out rates among students, according to “History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus”, leading to a whole group of people who never got a proper education. I couldn't imagine going into a school were I wasn't wanted miles away from my home with such high tensions going around. I liked BigGulpFrom711 comment about the decline of white students in schools not being due to desegregating but because white families took their kids out of school just further perpetuating racist ideas.


Juicy Burger
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 12

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



1. Did the ends justify the means?

I believe the ends do justify the means. The most prominent sentiment about this issue comes from Delmont's article from the Atlantic publishing an article called "The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis." Delmont explains that although busing had failed in some regards, accepting the greater fight of educational and socioeconomic equity is far more important. Unfortunately, I don't think Boston has lived up entirely to the promise of educational equality. From a modern view point, with very clear white flight, poor funding, violence, drug use, etc, Boston schools are not what most would consider a success. However despite this, there are two things to note. 1) As people in a society, I think we should always approach things from a perspective of ethics: failure is okay, and Boston can learn from it, but what we cannot accept is not trying to do the right thing. The social impetus born from discussion of busing and desegregation arguably led to the Court's ruling and greater regulation around educational disparity. 2) There was clear exaggerations by white people and people maintaining the education system because they felt under attack, which likely led to media being filled with emotions rather than pragmatism. Today, we are more likely to remember its failure than its success. Moreover, it means today that people accept the failure of busing as a way to ignore solving for socioeconomic disparities (Delmont).

2. Was desegregation a worthy goal?

Answer from part 1 covers this question extensively but if I want to add anything I would like to say that busing might have been exaggerated as a problem. The extensive violence would be the centerpiece of any media living today, but as WGBH reports on the story of children attending the Holmes school, it wasn't all that bad. South Boston may have felt the violence, but this one region should not characterize the rest of Boston. Yes, there was unrest, but there was also stories of success and integration that should be mentioned. Desegregation, in of itself, is worthy. Black people point out in our class documentary that the segregation of schools created unequal outcomes and unequal education. That isn't fair.

3. Did changes need to happen?

I believe that there were other solutions to the problem. Busing appeared to be a quick solution to a long term problem. Boston was divided, but that divide could not be remedied with quick action. I think that @acoiris18 is correct the solution seemed more like a bandaid. In my opinion, integration happens gradually and slowly. The north had justified racism subtly, and separated itself from the overt south. This allowed racism to become institutionalized invisibly. Boston needed a whole reformation surrounding racial divides. This is clear given A. Whites did not want Blacks in their schools B. A lot of schools were divided by race C. White schools received 100 dollars more in funding per student. Boston could have increased funding to Black schools, created new curriculums around race, and slowly start integrating students together.

4. I think it would be tolerable, but scary. Moving from a very white suburb into a boston school, I experienced a rapid shift in my demographics and I was for sure terrified. The first week was terrible for me, maybe even a month. The education quality seemed weak, the food was bad, students were more chaotic and cared less about school. Over time, however, I found a group of people I could hang out with and started to enjoy the school. I became friends with people I would have never became friends with at my old school: people from all different walks of life. But beyond that one year, I've come to value experiencing the difference between a rich suburb school, a BPS school, and BLS. Being challenged and put into a new environment is fun and necessary for growth.

5.Visible effects.

I think @BigGulpFrom711 depicts the most accurate statement around the post-busing effects, the most prominent of which is white flight away from Boston's schools. While some users praise the progress we have seen, I don't believe much progress has been done. Sure, there isn't violence between whites and blacks but that isn't the point of comparison. The most important comparison is that private schools and suburban schools consistently perform orders of magnitude higher. Moreover, Delmont explains that we have justified doing nothing because busing failed. Socioeconomic injustice continues to plague Boston, and the fight is not over.

Busing may have been a start, but it certainly isn't the end.

renaissance
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

"But in Boston, we just try to forget." — Farah Stockman, Boston Globe

I have come to realize when "overnight" changes are made, violence and discourse is inevitable. Especially in a place like Boston, where there were especially many high tensions over various issues like race, economics, religion and poverty during the 70s. Thus, when a court ruling like Morgan v. Hennigan passes and the school system had to turn around in just a few months, the controversy surrounding busing seems unsurprising. School desegregation through busing has had to be one of the only ways that the government has been able to curtail segregation in some environment to some immediate degree. Desegregation is a necessary process, and for immediate change to happen, the violence was going to have to happen happen. If the government slowly waited for white people to start being OK with children of color with their kids in school, it would take forever — and this school segregation still exists at a degree today. Watching the films, however, questions still remain about the law enforcement. It reminds me of the January 6th riots, in a way. The white rage is apparent now, as it was then. Especially when the crowd of angry white parents smashed the glass of City Hall.

When I read the article about Whitey Bulger and Southie's "Lost Generation," I couldn't help but be reminded of when the white people at the Maine reconciliation conference complained that they couldn't get to hear the stories of the indigenous people or when Donald Trump said both sides had bad people at the Charlottesville riots. The author seemed to have this "both of us had problems, not just the Black kids" mindset — and I agree that there were white communities that were poor, but he seems to have detracted from the conversation that children were being segregated and were growing up to learn to be segregated.

If I had gone to school during then, I would likely feel glad to receive more resources, but be scared and in fear for myself and for my peers of color. I wonder if the teachers also had to be changed and integrated, too. Looking at the essays of students during integration, I would sympathize with Joseph and Cynthia, who enjoyed their time at the integrated schools but were often in fear of what people would do to them. It's sad but unsurprising to see stories like that of Mark, who associate Black people with being mean, violence, and having poor education. I wonder if he thought the same when he saw white teens throwing rocks and parents shouting horrible things.

Today, schools are still segregated. Even if you look at the BPS school system today, BLS is still less diverse than other BPS schools — and they have so much funding. We can see this even in a school even like Stuyvesant, where under 10 Black students were admitted last year. These "elite" schools that get all the funding often attract people with the most resources given to them, pushing out those who were never provided the same resources.

In the end, the controversy around Boston's busing crisis, I feel, has turned the conversation away from the systems that ultimately perpetuate segregation in schools for a long time. This includes issues such as redlining — pushing opportunity to a specific group of people away from resources and generational wealth.

So, my question is, has Boston really started to reckon with desegregation? Yes, schools are not just one race now, but still, desegregation and segregation hasn't ended.

renaissance
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by chimken on October 27, 2022 13:17

1. Desegregating schools was definitely necessary, but busing was a very sudden and unsafe for all students. I believe that they should've taken a slower and safer approach instead of sending lots of students at once. Additionally they could've been a bit more discrete and punishing of the violence that was ensued on the African-American students. At the end of the day, any attempt to desegregate is justified since its for a better cause, in this case I think it could've been executed better.

2. Yes, segregation is a worthy goal since it would "level" out the playing field (although not completely) and would allow black kids to earn an adequate education and all the benefits that comes from that.

3. I don't think you can really alter Garrity's plan much. Although white families complained about being torn apart, the black families experienced the same thing. White families complaining about predominately black schools only proves that there is a problem. Having these children integrated in different schools would offer children varying perspectives.Although this would initially lead to violence and chaos, it would end in understanding.

4. Early on, I think the entire process as a whole would've been intolerable. This process was very violent on both ends and was filled with hate. Despite this, black children had it much worse since they were constantly stoned and harassed by students and citizens alike. On the other hand, white children faced lots of adversity within the predominately black schools, but not much from the citizens of Roxbury.

5. Schools as a result have become very diverse (for the most part) and have open doors regardless of race. Despite this, these events didn't happen an incredibly long time ago, many of these people still resent desegregation and may teach these beliefs to their children.

Adding on the lil breezy's comment, I believe officials should've made an effort in contacting white families that wouldn't mind enlisting their children in Roxbury since there's bound to be exceptions. But at the end of the day, this process, despite its destructiveness, was necessary and difficult to carry on any other way.


Though I agree that there would be vary perspectives and stereotypes would break down, I'm interested in exploring further the idea that "it would end in understanding." It seems that desegregation has also caused a lot of unfinished business and polarization in Boston's history. Before, there seemed to be microaggressions and the historical racism that we saw, but Boston's Busing Crisis was probably one of the most violent and racist acts in Boston's history — at least, it was quite influential seeing that it went on Italian news. With white flight, where white families specifically left Boston because they were against busing, I wonder what they ended up making of it a few years later? I wonder if there was still understanding. I'm sure that there has been a greater understanding because there is integration — but why are schools still segregated at some degree?

Augustus_Gloop
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

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

I think that the results of busing definitely justifies its means. The main reason I think this is that the way public schools receive funding was extremely unfair, and if it continued that way, racial divides would have continued to increase. It was similar to ripping off a bandaid: it hurt a lot in the moment, but it was a necessary change that needed to be made.

Desegregation was definitely a worthy goal. Racial divides are never a good thing, and they can only serve to polarize people. Additionally, education tends to lead to further class divides, and neighborhoods which are defined by race can not help Boston as a whole. As a city, it is extremely unhealthy to have clear cut separate areas with differing race, wealth, and property.

There were definitely some other ways to help desegregate Boston, but I think the schools were the best place to start. To put it simply, the adults were not going to be around forever, so in order to shape social change, a new generation is sometimes required. I think that destigmatizing other races at a young age is an incredibly important step. Additionally children's social personalities are much more malleable than adults', further making the schools a good space to desegregate.

To be completely honest, I think that I would have been able to tolerate it, mostly because I am white. In all of the articles I have read, while there was some violence towards white people, it was not nearly on the same level as the violence towards other races. However, if my modern self was transported back in time with my modern morals, I definitely would not have been able to tolerate it, because open racism is completely different to what is acceptable now.

I think one of the most visible effects of desegregation is the diversity in schools like Boston latin. While not all public schools have the same amount of diversity, it is definitely improved due to desegregation. I think it is especially prevelant in the diversity not only in race, but in wealth as well, which is unseen in most places in the world.

I would also like to disagree with Chimken because I think that, while it was unsafe, bussing was one of the few ways that desegregation could have happened. I think that almost any other way would have resulted in more violence, or simply wouldn’t work.

JnjerAle
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Boston's History of Desegregation (Busing)

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

While desegregating the Boston Public Schools was a good goal, I am not sure it is enough to justify the forced busing considering the fact that many of the black children who were meant to get a better education from busing ended up suffering greatly from angry reactions from racist white folks. Busing sped up the process of integration but the countless harmful effects of it need to be acknowledged as well. Due to the fact that it was such a sudden change, tensions rose greatly between communities. The main people that suffered from this would be the children themselves. In the Boston Globe Article ‘Did Busing Slow Boston’s Desegregation?’ Daneese Carnes recalls an experience from her childhood in which a white friend threw a molotov cocktail through her window after the passing of the busing law. Many black children suffered similar hate crimes due to the extreme divide the busing law put between white and black communities. Desegregation was a good goal to strive for but the means caused too much suffering to the children it was supposed to protect, therefore I don’t believe that busing is justified in this case.


  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation was a worthy goal that deserved a much better execution. In order for education to become more equal for everyone, people of different races had to become integrated so that funding could be split better (considering most of the funding was going to white schools). In the article ‘Lasting Legacy of Boston Busing,’ Ruth Batson speaks about how white schools got the most care from those in power (more supplies, more funding). This was definitely a serious issue worthy of change considering how important good education is to people later on in life. The government should have put a lot more thought into how to better desegregate the schools, but instead they just threw in a busing law and expected everyone to follow it without thinking about the consequences for the students. Considering desegregation is such a major step in achieving equality in this nation, the way it was treated is so disappointing to learn about. It was a topic that deserved much more care, discussion, and funding.


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

Yes, change most definitely had to happen in Boston Public Schools eventually considering the fact that the education system in Boston was so unequal. Children should have an equal education so that they have an equal chance at a good future (although this is a goal that is still far from complete). However, there are plenty other solutions that the government could have put in place besides Garrity’s busing law. His decision only served to heighten the tension between different communities. It is also important to note that busing itself was a very different process for white and black kids. As spoken about in the article ‘How a Standoff Over Schools Changed the Country,’ the school committee regularly allowed white children to transfer out of predominantly black schools but black families were forced to continue to send their children to predominantly white schools with little hope of transferring. From this information alone, it is already clear that busing was an incredibly flawed system. Other solutions could have been used instead; for example, the government could have helped to regulate the difference in funding between white and black dominated schools. This would’ve decreased the different educational environments and made the process a lot smoother. Speaking of the process, it should definitely have been done over a larger period of time. Implementing a desegregation law 3 months before the start of school gives people no time to plan for the sudden change at all. Many things could have been done differently.


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

I could not imagine going to school during 1974-1975 given how harsh the environment was due to the increased tensions from the busing law. Perhaps it would’ve been better if I was one of the kids allowed to stay in my neighborhood, but if I was transferred to a whole new area without knowing anybody, the transition would not have been easy. It would have been interesting to meet new people, but the threat of violence and hate would not have been easy to deal with at all. Change is hard on many people including myself.


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

The amount of people that transferred out of Boston Public Schools is astounding and is likely one of the most obvious effects of desegregation in Boston. Many of the children that switched to private schools were white children too, so there aren’t nearly as many white kids in Boston Public Schools as there was before the desegregation era (due to this, the ratio/percentages of certain races in BPS have been greatly altered).


I agree greatly with BigGulpFrom711 about the fact that the government treated desegregation like a low priority matter. They should have given much more thought into the means of achieving such a difficult goal, but they did not even take into consideration the possibility of retaliation when black children were forced into predominantly white neighborhoods. They should have at least given safer options (there are really a lot of things that could have been done differently) to try and protect the children from the racism and violence they would face.

ok i pull up
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

1. All things considered, with no fatalities known, this was definitely worth the busing. As bad as it was, it was a necessary step to take in the right direction. It was just unfortunate that the parents had to react that way, thinking that it would help their case in their opinion. This wasn't really predictable either, so the police aren't to blame, and it did seem to lie they tried their best to keep the children safe when they were entering the school, however, precautions could have been made.

2. Desegregation was a worthy goal because, without it, it is highly likely that our world now would not have changed from the world that was 40 years ago. It was something that eventually had to be done, and the sooner the better, and it was just a shame that people had such a negative reaction towards it, but we learned from our mistake and the world is a better place because of it.

3. The change eventually did need to happen, however, the plan could have been set more carefully, so that the people could ease into being in the same school, and then learn that it isn't so bad. However, putting all the kids at the same time could have been very concerning for people, because they didn't know what to expect, and maybe with more time people could've calmed down. So in that regard, a tweak in the law could have proved very useful.

4. It would have been tolerable to be with new classmates, especially knowing that I would be making history. What would have been intolerable would of course be the reaction of the parents, because I would be more scared of them than the student. I would not be able to imagine going to school back then, because I feel as if there is stigma and confusion that we are missing from back then.

5. Without the efforts we took back then, I could imagine that we would still be as racist as we were back then, and now we are much more reformed bacause of it.

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