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SBANP Partners with
MA Action for Justice

GBH panel discussion group photo.jpg

Join us for WGBH’s fall 2023 release of “The Busing Battleground” a new American Experience documentary film.

History

A working group of 40+ leaders, teachers and former BPS students have been meeting for more than a year to plan a series of programs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Judge Garrity’s 1974 ruling in the Tallulah Morgan civil action suit. 

2024 is the 50th Anniversary of the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools.  This was the June 21, 1974 ruling in Tallulah Morgan vs. James Hennigan, filed by 14 adults and 43 children, by federal Judge Arthur Garrity that the Boston schools were segregated and ordered to be desegregated.  This decision followed upon 14 years of organizing for desegregation and improved schools by the Black community from 1960-1974. The desegregation decision was accomplished by busing that begin in Boston on September 12, 1974 and hundreds of subsequent court orders on policies for operation of the schools.

 

The desegregation, the busing, the instances of violence were possibly the most momentous events in the second half of the twentieth Century in Boston. What happened then still shapes Boston’s reputation on race relations both across the country and in Boston.  The Boston Public Schools still carry out the student assignment plan framework and many other court orders  on teacher hiring, exam school admissions from 40-50 years ago.

 

Tens of thousands of students, parents, teachers, schools administrators, and bus drivers experienced great turmoil, instances of violence, and many cases of trauma from experiences in the schools.  Boston schools were 60% white in 1974 and are 15% white now. White flight took place and deprived a generation of students from learning and relationships that an integrated education would give and weakened support for the Boston Public Schools.

 

Today the Boston Public Schools struggle with reading and math scores not on grade level for thousands of students, drop-out rate, thousands of students whose families are homeless, educating English language learners, educating special needs children, and getting buses to pick up students on time.  This school system of largely students of color is not delivering the quality of education students need and parents and residents expect despite great efforts that many students, teachers, administrators, and city officials are making.

The Desegregation & Busing Working Group's Goals

To increase public understanding of the community-based organizing roots of the movement and showcase the lived experiences of parents, residents, students, teachers and their allies.​

 

To promote critical reflection, cross generational healing and bold new actions to improve world-class learning and educational opportunities for BPS students. 

The Busing Battleground

Click below to view the documentary from

American Experience by PBS.

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