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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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Through the 1990s

Through the 1990s

(p.240) EpilogueThrough the 1990s
Boston Against Busing

Ronald P. Formisano

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Boston's saga, which still seemed unique despite reflecting patterns of resistance to school desegregation in other cities. Violence had exceeded that of other cities under court orders, and Boston had attained regrettable status as a symbol of what not to do in implementing desegregation. Thus, in Buffalo, after years of white resistance paralleling Boston's, a 1976 court order elicited relatively moderate, nonviolent protest. The presence of black elected officials and a plan phased in over several years contributed to a smoother process, but so did a conscious determination not to repeat Boston's mistakes. In 1979, similarly, a “not like Boston” mentality took hold in Columbus, Ohio. In contrast to Boston, too, desegregation actually advanced nationally from 1968 to 1980. In districts under court orders, racial imbalance was reduced by half, and the percentage of African American students in heavily minority schools declined, most dramatically in the South.

Keywords:   Boston's saga, patterns of resistance, school desegregation, white resistance, 1976 court order, nonviolent protest

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