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

Originally posted by glass on October 27, 2022 18:32

  • 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.


I agree that they were aware of the consequences, and yet they didn't take the necessary precautions to ensure that this wouldn't happen. They should have taken more time to think about it rather than just releasing it without recognizing this problem first.

milklover777
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 5

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation.

The ends of desegregating did not justify the means in this case. Many children throughout schools in Boston were being treated like test subjects, being forcefully and suddenly thrown into schools fully knowing the result it would have. There could have been many other methods, even if these methods took longer than forced busing it would have been more humane than what they had attempted to do. Parents and children alike were confused on what was happening and many fights broke out through schools, which could have definitely been prevented given time. One of the main things schools could have done is given a warning to white people, and tell everyone their plan then execute with a safer manner when things settle down since people are bound to riot just off the warning that schools will be desegregated. The only defense that the end would justify the means is saying that it's just like a band aid, quickly desegregating schools in order to have these schools without harm to future children. This statement is flawed only because the discussion is over children's mental and physical health, people being stabbed, injured, called derogatory names, and the list goes on.

Desegregation was definitely a worthy goal, although the effects of it are still not seen far in the future as many towns have a predominant race. Systematically schools were desegregated, although due to redlining many towns such as South Boston, West Roxbury, and many higher education schools are predominantly white. This is due to the access of education that higher income families have, as can be seen that many schools in East Boston have many Hispanic students and Roxbury and Dorchester could be seen with more black students. Going back to the question whether it was a worthy goal or not, it's obvious that allowing all children to have equal education opportunities is the correct choice to make. The goal was very poorly executed by schools, and even if the entire nation ended up having desegregated schools, the methods that were used were very inhumane and unfair to students of color.

There were definitely other solutions that Garrity could have done in order to make desegregation a smoother process to everyone. The main issue is the separation of color due to income, so the main goal would be to slowly push housing into neighboring towns to integrate desegregated and income-based living. The start to this would be giving everyone months of warning in advance of their full plan, and soon after creating free higher level education institutions allowed for all races to attend. This would cause competition and children would strive in order to reach this school, but the school would need to allow previous access to education equality since white folks have better materials, education, buildings, etc... It's completely unacceptable that school systems chose to step out of the process of desegregation instead of helping, and broadening this project in order to make it easier. This was a selfish choice in order to continue the learning of white folks in certain towns that caused other people in Roxbury to be forced out of the comfort of their homes to be brought to a place of violence and fear.

I can't imagine how it would be like to participate in schools in the environment of 1974-1975 due to the tumultuousness and violence of the whole process. I already get made fun of because of my ethnic features, so I cannot imagine the extremities of racism towards young black students during that time period and the extent they were harassed due to their skin color, hair, and facial features. Being placed across neighborhoods and forcefully mixed with people's cultures and the hate that comes along with discrimination would definitely prevent any student from learning, which would already add onto the fact that I don't really have a high attention span anyways. I would definitely have struggles going to school, but it would be nothing compared to the hate that black students experienced and the constant fear and comfortability they had to constantly experience.

The most visible effects of the desegregation era are the integrated schools, which all public schools across the country include all race classrooms. Despite these effects, students in all schools will feel the effects of racism and prejudice. Typically one race takes the majority of the school depending on the occupied area, all the while this contributes to the unintended segregation of race and making people feel left out due to culture and race. Being the minority of a school causes you to group with people in the same boat as you, as this also contributed to the separation of race within schools and towns across the nation. There will never be a fully integrated school as long as this generation is alive, which is only due to internalized bias which is held by every single human being, whether it's admitted or not. Many people can still say the desegregation era is over, but it is still not fully completed to this day and the first step will be educating and realizing what people you speak to, who they are, and being conscious of your every action.

In response to lil breezy, I disagree with the part that during/ before busing there were no attempts to stop racism. This is because of the attempt to escort the children home, have police force, and attempt to desegregate schools just for children to have an equal learning experience. I am definitely in agreement with the point white people try to make about black students tearing them apart, as it was utterly ridiculous the excuses they would make in order to keep people of color as far away from them as possible. I want to also emphasize the point lil breezy made about the minimum effort put into condemning the violent riots, because even if it was very difficult to safely desegregate there should have been a greater effort made solely because the discussion is over children's safety and rights.




bubbles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

BPS's Desegregation

Although I feel like they had the right intentions when it came to the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, the way they went about it was not right at all. Forcing busing only caused more friction between neighborhoods, rather than the sense of unity that it was meant to inspire. I understand that drastic measures had to be taken in order for integration to occur within a single year, but the way that it actually occurred made the district seem like they cared about how integration would affect their public reputation, rather than the safety of their own students.


Of course desegregation was a worthy goal; the fact that Boston had not integrated by the mid 1970s is appalling, and the conditions of non-white schools were so starkly inferior and neglected that integration was necessary for people of color to receive a proper education. However, the idea that any district could overcome segregation peacefully within a single school year is downright absurd. BPS should have expected resistance, expected the hate that would have been brought forth, and yet they didn’t. Something that stuck out to me was how Boston’s housing was actually desegregated in the 1960s, but no one knows about that because it was quickly undone in the 70s with the mobs of anti-black sentiment that started to take hold. Boston was on the right track as a city, but the disaster of busing caused them to backtrack significantly, where white neighbors would turn against their black ones, as if they were to blame for integration not taking hold earlier. It was heart wrenching to hear Junior’s story, on how neighbors that he thought were friends turned on him so quickly, and how it caused the black population in predominantly white neighborhoods to diminish greatly. The public response was so horrid that other cities looked to Boston as a worse-case scenario when it came to their own desegregation. Honestly, I don’t see what else Garrity could have suggested or done to desegregate BPS, but I do think that he should’ve made the change more gradual over a longer period of time. Perhaps if the integration was more gradual, people would have been more tolerant, and less violence would occur.


I could not imagine going to school in the 70s. As an Asian-American, it’s not hard to imagine what I would have been treated like at one of those schools, what the mobs and fellow classmates likely would have said about me. I could not imagine dealing with that every single day, while somehow paying attention to my studies at the same time. I suppose that there would have been a sense of community on the bus, amongst kids from the same neighborhood and ethnic background as me, but that community would quickly grow silent as we approached the school, as stated in the documentary. I likely would’ve hated the fact that I would be forced to commute to another neighborhood to attain my education, instead of just going to the schools in my own neighborhood. I think one of the most visible effects of the desegregation era was how poorly it was handled in regards to housing, and how that caused certain groups of people to move to certain neighborhoods, where they’ve remained ever since. To this day, Dorchester is still a predominantly Vietnamese community, Mattapan is predominantly black, and so forth. The desegregation era only heightened the discourse between ethnic groups and drew lines in the sand, which still affect us today. Even if it’s not officially stated, it’s pretty understood that neighborhoods feel like they’re still divided by race, and it’s because of the repercussions of the desegregation era. Although it was technically a success, seeing as all Boston Public Schools are integrated today with minimal public violence, the disparity is still there. Exam schools have so much more funding and opportunities compared to the rest of BPS, to the point where it’s almost like we have become the superior, white-only schools and the others have conditions so bad that they barely constitute being a proper school.


I agree with what glass said, and how I could not imagine my former best friend setting my house on FIRE because of racial differences. And the fact that most families had to move away because of instances like that just shows the trauma that these kids and families underwent, just because they wanted a better education. The fact that most of the perpetrators later received criminal records later in life just shows how toxic the atmosphere in Boston was at the time, and how that shaped their characters overall, from childhood to even today.

sage_gorilla
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

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

I am hesitant to say that the desegregation of Boston public schools justified the means of busing because of the horror it ensued. Busing was a step in the right direction to start a process of desegregating education and making sure it was equally accessible for black children as it was for white kids. The desegregation of these educational institutions was a very important thing, but busing caused so many problems. Black kids were scared to go to school every day. The white mobs that opposed them, especially ones in South Boston were horrendous. Busing caused white teens to turn on their black neighbors. They would beat them, pelt them with rocks, and burn down their houses. People died because of how deep racist hatred ran through Boston. Busing ruined so many lives and defined a generation. Though I think it was necessary, the horror that ensued is still nauseating to think about.


Desegregation is a worthy goal. Change needed to happen in Boston public schools; it was inevitable. Despite the atrocities that followed Judge Garrity’s decision, it was crucially necessary. I do not think there were any other solutions to the issue. It was simply something that needed to be done. It worked more successfully in some schools rather than others. The Holmes Elementary School is an example of this. The desegregation of that school was much swifter and friendlier than South Boston’s process.


I can only imagine going to school in 74’-75’ as terrifying because the only thing that comes to mind is South Boston. There would have been such a thick tension between white and black students at all times. If I were a student during that time, I would always be on guard and very stressed. I can only imagine that any and all wrongdoings against black people were deemed acceptable; while misdeeds against white students were heinous and would end in harsh punishment.


Currently, BPS is 14% white. This is a significant decrease from the 60% before busing. Today, private schools have grown large, expensive, and white. This is largely a direct cause of busing. White parents took their children out of the BPS system and placed them in private schools to escape desegregation. Private schools used to be small, but now they are now large in size and expense. They are a popular schooling choice in Boston. It is truly astonishing how older racial issues have influenced so many things that we never truly thought about.

sage_gorilla
Boston, Massachusetts, 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.


Hi @chimken,

I definitely agree with you that the desegregation of BPS was necessary, but the busing plan could have been executed better. You said that it could have been executed slower, but I disagree. I think that desegregating one school at a time would cause other schools to try and get around desegregating. I also think that it would have caused an uproar with white parents fighting back by saying "why is their school not integrated but mine is." This would gain traction and desegregation would reverse. I also would like to say that I don't believe schools have become that diverse. There are still predominantly white schools and predominantly black schools with a stark contrast in their resources and sufficient education. This is because of the system by which schools are funded and generational poverty (I won't dive too much into that). I also just want to add something to your fifth point. Ms. Freeman told us in class that private schools became more popular, and possibly more expensive, because many white kids switched to private schools when faced with desegregation in public schools. This supports the normal trend of whiter, richer schools having the most resources and providing the best education.

sue denym
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Boston Redlining And Desegregation

  • 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?

The question of did the ends justify the means is difficult to answer. Of course, desegregation was a worthy goal and necessary one. The goal of providing quality education for all and get kids the resources and materials necessary to learn is worthy and necessary however the reform they implemented of busing was handled poorly. It seemed rushed and ill prepared, the government didn’t take into consideration the difficulties and problems that could occur, and they didn’t take into consideration how everyone might react which escalated the issue. Like BigGulp said, forcing people to do something can drastically change someone’s reactions like forced busing which caused such tension and violence. The violence written in these articles are horrible, the mentions of many stabbings and firebombing among other things should have not needed to happen. Especially when it drove people out of neighborhoods and caused more division. So yes, change and desegregation needed to happen and was worthy however the means of busing doesn’t quite justify it due to the fact that there could have been other solutions or more care implemented to reach the same ends in a better manner. I cannot imagine going to school in such an environment, I can’t begin to fathom the violence and hostility people had to go through and it’s horrifying to think of living through that. While the busing could have had better alternative solutions, I still think that it would be tolerable despite the long commutes. The most visible effects today are how schools are somewhat more diverse, however despite all that has happened, there are still issues with schools, the difference in fundings still being a problem and more.

woozi
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

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

Despite all of the violence that resulted from the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools, I think the ends did justify the means. As mentioned by many others, this was the only way to introduce change and the only way to physically get things to change. In contrast to what milklover777 said, I don't think waiting to do this would have changed anything. While I agree that forced busing probably wasn’t the best execution and that the street violence and response from white people in South Boston was incredibly shameful, it was predictable and fitting. Throughout history, many groups of white people usually resorted to violence to debate against the change that was happening simply because they didn't want to see poc thrive or have the same opportunities they had. Considering this, things probably wouldn't have settled down because even if they announced it early and gave it time, when it’s time for the action (desegregation) to actually happen, the tension and riots would most likely still have happened and probably would've been even worse given the built up fury if they had waited.

Of course desperation was a worthy goal. Events like the desegregation in Boston help the future (in this case, it helped our present). Change needed to happen and I don't think there were any other solutions to the issue following Judge W. Arthur Garrity’s decision. The violence that resulted was devastating and unnecessary but if it hadn't happened we would probably still be in segregated schools and neighborhoods. Though many neighborhoods and schools in Boston still do have a dominant race, there’s still been progress, and some progress is better than no progress at all.

I would not be able to go to school during that environment. The kids in Roxbury who took the bus to South Boston are so brave and much better than I am. I would be way too scared to even walk down the street in that neighborhood especially given the already high tensions from the announcement because the violence would have been intolerable for me. Seeing the violence on the streets on the videos we watched was already so sad and so scary. I imagine they were grateful for the police because it did look like they were making a genuine effort to stop the rioters from harming the children using horses and such but I still would not have been able to put my life on the line for that just for school. It's disheartening to watch children experience things like that and I’m very thankful things are different now.

The most visible effect as a result of the desegregation era of 1974-1975 is the diversity in BPS. This is apparent in Boston Latin School even now too, with the exam school admission process changing because of the huge acceptance of white people. Compared to how it was a few years ago, as I mentioned earlier, there’s at least some progress around it and we are slowly developing to eliminate segregation in our education systems.

Pinyon Jay
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation

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

I think the ends generally justified the means, however the execution of the busing solution caused many white students and civilians to turn to violence, and more backlash in general than was necessary. This rapid solution made white families feel that their rights were being impeded on, and initially caused more misunderstanding. I think the end goal that was reached was overall worth the struggle, but more measures could have been put in place to ensure the safety of students, specifically students of color.


  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation was not only a worthy goal, but a necessary one. Segregation only perpetuates misconceptions and stereotypes, and continues discourses and violent interactions between people of different races. Specifically, segregation benefited white students and majority white schools because more funding and attention went their way. The disparity between quality of education of white people and minorities in Boston would only grow as segregation of schools continued.


  • 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 that change was necessary at that point, although there could have been less harmful and more mindful solutions. Desegregation was always going to be a very difficult transition, but the busing solution was a bit invasive and direct, inciting more violent discourse. I cannot specify any one alternative to the busing solution, but there should have been more planning for a long term solution.


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

I am able to get a slight understanding of this experience through the articles detailing the students’ point of view and how the change affected them, like in History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus. Fear and uncertainty became a regular part of the students’ lives as they were transported to a largely unfamiliar setting, especially for students of color. I would have been able to tolerate discourses between the students, where there is a more even playing field. I think this would be understandable, due to the students being generally less mature. However, being targeted by large violent crowds all rooting against me would not be tolerable. This was a near daily occurrence for children of color especially. Just seeing the potential of the crowd of white protesters in Eyes on the Prize made me wonder how any of the students possibly kept going to school. What would get me especially is the fact that many participating in this would be adults.

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

The most visible effects of the desegregation era today are the increase of white students being put into private schools, due to the parents’ resentment of the busing policy. Consequently, white students have had more access to educational resources due to better funding, while many people of color don’t have this access in underfunded schools. Although schools in Boston have generally been more diversified, unfortunately segregation has found continuity through white students being put into private schools.

Pinyon Jay
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by woozi on October 28, 2022 06:32

Despite all of the violence that resulted from the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools, I think the ends did justify the means. As mentioned by many others, this was the only way to introduce change and the only way to physically get things to change. In contrast to what milklover777 said, I don't think waiting to do this would have changed anything. While I agree that forced busing probably wasn’t the best execution and that the street violence and response from white people in South Boston was incredibly shameful, it was predictable and fitting. Throughout history, many groups of white people usually resorted to violence to debate against the change that was happening simply because they didn't want to see poc thrive or have the same opportunities they had. Considering this, things probably wouldn't have settled down because even if they announced it early and gave it time, when it’s time for the action (desegregation) to actually happen, the tension and riots would most likely still have happened and probably would've been even worse given the built up fury if they had waited.

Of course desperation was a worthy goal. Events like the desegregation in Boston help the future (in this case, it helped our present). Change needed to happen and I don't think there were any other solutions to the issue following Judge W. Arthur Garrity’s decision. The violence that resulted was devastating and unnecessary but if it hadn't happened we would probably still be in segregated schools and neighborhoods. Though many neighborhoods and schools in Boston still do have a dominant race, there’s still been progress, and some progress is better than no progress at all.

I would not be able to go to school during that environment. The kids in Roxbury who took the bus to South Boston are so brave and much better than I am. I would be way too scared to even walk down the street in that neighborhood especially given the already high tensions from the announcement because the violence would have been intolerable for me. Seeing the violence on the streets on the videos we watched was already so sad and so scary. I imagine they were grateful for the police because it did look like they were making a genuine effort to stop the rioters from harming the children using horses and such but I still would not have been able to put my life on the line for that just for school. It's disheartening to watch children experience things like that and I’m very thankful things are different now.

The most visible effect as a result of the desegregation era of 1974-1975 is the diversity in BPS. This is apparent in Boston Latin School even now too, with the exam school admission process changing because of the huge acceptance of white people. Compared to how it was a few years ago, as I mentioned earlier, there’s at least some progress around it and we are slowly developing to eliminate segregation in our education systems.

I find woozi's point about alternative methods to busing very insightful. It is logical to expect for a slower solution process, announced earlier, to build tensions and resentment for longer in white neighborhoods, and likely allow for movements opposing the change to be more developed. I wonder if a longer-term solution would actually result in more violence, and if the result would be worth it.

anonymous333
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 6
The end of desegregating the Boston Public Schools was a good idea. However, the means of doing so, with forced busing, wasn't a good execution of desegregation. Forcing a group of people, or even a singular person, to do something will make matters feel like a chore and cause loads of backlash. This was the exact reaction that we witnessed when Roxbury and South Boston were forced to undergo busing and integration. There would just be senseless violence from both sides, both black and white. Desegregation is definitely a worhty goal, just the way they tried to fix it created more tension. It important for every student to have equal opportunity and quality of learning. I think there definitely needed to be some sort of change to the Boston Public School System. In one of the articles Ruth Batson mentioned she became so passionate about desegration of the schools becasue she remembered a conversation with a white parent about their child's school projects. And how she wondered why her child was never assigned work similar to that, and why children in mostly Black schools didn't have advanced nursing or teaching. I can't imagine going to school in this time frame, the parents made the biggest uproars of all. News papers were everywhere with new headlining stories about violence regarding the desegregtion and with campaigns to fix it. For the effects today I see it mostly in the elementary schools. Some people claim that the zoning policy on the acceptance into the exams schoools is more about race. But often I wonder if we should be worrying more about the elemtary schools than the exam schools, children with different learning abilities based on where they went to elementary and middle school will determine which exam schools they make it into. If we want to give each child the same opportunity to get in, we should make sure they all have the same means of an education to do so. Some schools are way more underfunded than others, its unacceptable.
enterusernamenow
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Boston, Race, Redlining, and Desegreation: What do we make of its legacy?

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

After watching the documentary about Boston Public Schools desegregation and reading the Boston Globe articles, (but even prior to be honest) I think that the ends did justify the means. I say this because, desegregation was necessary, and as Malcom X says: “by any means necessary”. Although I feel sorry for the black students whose education was jeopardized by the racial tensions of their time. And although no children should ever have to go through what they did, I applaud and am grateful for their resistance, for their ability to thrive, and pave the way for future BIPOC students in the US.

Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation is a worthy goal on the basis of dismantling the falsity that is “race”. Race is a social construct and the division, decrimination, and demonetization of certain people on the premise that somehow their phenotype makes them subhuman is the epitome of evil. Black students deserved the right to an education and one that was just as quality as their white counterparts, with school buildings and teachers who were given adequate funding to fuel their learning mind.

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 that change did have to happen in the Boston Public Schools, the very definition of Public includes those of the general community as a whole, excluding black students from being able to attend certain schools, specifically pushing them into low income ones benefits absolutely no one nor the whole of a society. It just needed to happen, and unfortunately, although those students had to go through that trauma it was necessary for progress.

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

I think it would've been intolerable, as the environment would’ve been a hostile one. Some students may have had trouble focusing on their education, but others may have ensured that they did their best, represented and took full advantage of the opportunity they were at the forefront of.

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

The most visible effect I see today are yet again modern forms of systemic inequities. For example the Advance Work Class Program, the school that I attended was BPS and predominantly (98%) Black and hispanic, that 2% remaining, the AWC class’s white student majority. I witnessed the exam school process leave out black and hispanic students when the AWC class all put their educational folders into the BLS pile while only a few students put their folders into any of the exam school bins. I also noticed that at BLS itself, private school attendees are dominant. Private schools themselves and the creation of them are in many ways discriminatory but that’s for another conversation.

enterusernamenow
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by renaissance on October 27, 2022 21:17


When I read the article about Whitey Bulger and Southie's "Lost Generation..."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.


I agree, I think that people do not understand intersectionality, especially white people. I think that there victim complex and white privilege (despite economic status) is the reason so many white people continue to justify or subtly defend the actions of racist individuals.

soccermom1800
Boston , Massachusetts , US
Posts: 7

Desegregation was absolutely a worthy goal, personally, I don't think that bussing was the right thing to do. It put many students in danger and subjected students of color to daily physical and verbal abuse. I don't think that desegregation justified the bussing because there were other ways that people could've gone about desegregating from a systemic lense but this was very harsh and caused a lot more violence.
Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity The school environment in 1974-1975 would've definitely been very hostile, everyone must've been on edge and anxious. I feel like it would've been very difficult to focus and do well on school work when you were worried about your safety at school.
More recently I noticed that a lot of people were bussed into Westie High (before it was shut down) and that most of the POC at my elementary school didn't live as close as the white students. Also with the changing exam schools and how that is being received by the public.

freddie gibbs fan
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

I think the only argument to justify busing was the ends justifying the means. According to Michael Patrick McDonald, education worsened in the short term - attendance was nearly 50% at South Boston High School for years after and the school was already poor - but would become more fully integrated in the future. In summary, the means were messy and hurt the education system for a couple of years but overall benefitted race relations in Boston.


It absolutely was a worthy goal. In order to become more open minded people must meet those who are different from them rather than their own insulative communities. While South Boston High was just as dire a school as its counterpart in Roxbury, they set the future in the right direction because now both communities would try to help each other rather than oppose each other.


Such segregated schools in BPS made busing necessary there. I am not aware of any other solutions but busing black students to more rich suburban schools. This would’ve given them a better education while challenging the white status quo there. (This also would’ve affected Garrity’s Wellesley, which might have changed his opinion on the matter)


The overall justification (racial integration) would make sense to me but the distraction of racial fights, tension between two factions, and riots in front of the school would negatively affect my education due to stress and fear of something happening.


One very noticeable effect is integrated schools obviously but a deeper effect I see is the rise of pro-school choice rhetoric. This rhetoric was pushed by middle and upper class liberals who had the means to send their kids to private schools after desegregation of schools. They would say that they were simply exercising a right to choose their education (which everyone should have, they claimed) but were often doing it because they didn’t want to go to school with black children. The effect we see today from this is the rise in private education at the highschool level and its corresponding expenses. (Watch this podcast about school choice if you would like to learn more, I did a poor job of explaining it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLALle6Cvss&ab_channel=TheMajorityReportw%2FSamSeder )


My response to BigGulpFrom711 would be that although commuting across the city is absolutely a chore, doing something as important as racially integrating schools should not be prevented from happening simply because it inconveniences someone or faces backlash. Backlash is certainly not a reason to not do something progressive, see the civil rights movement. I also find it interesting that you brought up how many fewer students are in the BPS system today than in the 70s and this makes me ask the question of whether those fewer students receive better resources compared to more because they aren’t spread between so many.

drakefan02
boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

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

I do think the ends justify the means in the case of Boston’s desegregation. There probably was a way to obtain the ends while minimizing violence, but I don’t think people expected such chaos to come from the decision. The issue was the extreme overreaction people against the idea had (the rocks being thrown at buses and the boycotting of schools for example). It is important to note that most of the violence was from the white people in South Boston. In the article titled “History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus,” they told the story of a white woman at South Boston who was scared because one of her sons was being sent to a high school outside of her “safer” neighborhood. Another son was going to his neighborhood school, but as he walked there he saw an angry mob greeting the buses. A little kid in one of the videos we watched summarized the situation well when he said that white people don’t get rocks thrown at them when they come into his neighborhood, so why do white people throw rocks when he goes to their neighborhood. But, at some point, tensions did simmer down leading to a somewhat better Boston.


Desegregation was definitely a worthy goal for Boston. Schools in whiter neighborhoods got more funding compared to schools in blacker neighborhoods. Desegregation was the only way Boston could step closer to being a place of equal opportunity. Desegregation is a worthy goal for any place. There were many hurdles trying to get to this goal. In the article called “Did Busing Slow the City’s Desegregation?”, those hurdles were touched upon. Black people were driven out of their neighborhoods by angry white people against busing. Teenagers were throwing bricks at the windows of friends. The article talks about how a decade after 1970, the black population of east boston and south boston and charlestown went from triple digits to double digits. The hurdles were huge, but the goal was still worthy.


Change needed to happen. I think people would’ve reacted violently to change no matter what, though there could have been less violence. Maybe just better funding for the less funded schools would’ve been a safer remedy to the education inequality. Though what happened wasn’t the ideal change, change was necessary and no change would have been the worst option.

I can't imagine going to school at that time. I wouldn’t be able to handle all the tension. I couldn’t imagine such an environment of hate where teenagers attack their old friends and drive them out of their homes. The hate from the parents trickles down to their children. Small interactions turned to fights in the schools. I couldn’t tolerate any of it.


The effects of the desegregation era are visible today in the neighborhoods and schools of Boston. The populations of schools are more diverse than before, which is a good thing. A lot of white people moved out of Boston or switched to private schools because of busing. The long term effects were mostly positive but not all.


freddie gibbs fan touches on the rise of pro-school choice rhetoric as an effect of Boston’s desegregation, which I hadn’t thought about. I found the podcast they linked helpful too. It’s definitely a visible effect today. I'd like to learn more on this topic.

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