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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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(p.203) 9 Battlegrounds
Boston Against Busing

Ronald P. Formisano

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how the antibusing movement failed in that judge Garrity's decision withstood all the appeals mounted against it in the courts and streets. Not for eleven years did Garrity withdraw and turn immediate responsibility for the schools back to the school committee. Yet as one ROAR activist claimed later, with only partial inaccuracy: “We never gave up. We won. We prevented it for eight years [after 1965] .... His [Garrity's] program was never a success.” Indeed, the resistance resulted, particularly if white flight is counted as one expression of antibusing, in schools that by the 1980s were more highly segregated by race than before. They also were more lopsided than ever—debilitatingly so—in the lower-class composition of their students. Garrity and his advisers did try heroically to improve the Boston schools, and in some cases succeeded.

Keywords:   antibusing movement, Garrity's decision, school committee, ROAR activist, white flight

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