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Boston Against BusingRace, Class, and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s$
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Ronald P. Formisano

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780807855263

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869703_formisano

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Not Little Rock But New Orleans

Not Little Rock But New Orleans

(p.1) 1 Not Little Rock But New Orleans
Boston Against Busing

Ronald P. Formisano

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how the tough, mostly Irish, working-class neighborhood of South Boston became as much a symbol of white racism as Selma, Alabama had been in 1964. Wild, raging mobs of white men and women confronted armies of police, while youths in their teens and younger hurled rocks, bottles, and racial epithets at buses carrying terrified black youngsters to school. Clashes with police erupted frequently and schools in other white neighborhoods became armed camps. The violence continued, arising alternately from whites and blacks, engulfing the innocent as well as the engaged: a black man stalked and beaten with hockey sticks; a white student carried out of Hyde Park High with a knife wound, then another stabbed by a black at South Boston High; a white man dragged from his car and beaten to death; a black lawyer beaten on the steps of City Hall by young white protesters and struck with the staff of an American flag used as a spear.

Keywords:   working-class neighborhood, South Boston, white racism, Selma, Alabama, white men, armies of police

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