Many resources exist for learning about school desegregation in Boston. The majority of resources we have compiled here draw directly from the Boston Public Schools Desegregation Collection, including interactive maps and student-curated digital exhibits that provide examples for how the primary source materials can be interpreted and curated. Other resources outside of the Collection offer greater context to the history of racial justice organizing in Boston and highlight the work and resources generated by community-led organizations both past and present.
Timelines - A variety of primary and secondary source documents provide context and detail the events surrounding school desegregation in Boston.
Digital Exhibits - Student-created exhibits demonstrate how the collections’ materials can be interpreted and curated.
Legal History - Case summaries, histories, and links to digitized case files
Boston's Desegregation History StoryMap - This StoryMap gives an overview of each of the institutions and collections that make up the Boston School Desegregation Collections.
Map of Freedom Schools - Explore the locations of the institutions that hosted Freedom Schools around Boston in 1974.
Citywide Coordinating Council StoryMap - The Citywide Coordinating Council was formed to monitor the implementation and progress of school desegregation in Boston ordered by Judge Garrity in his decision in Morgan v. Hennigan. Monitor reports from high security risk high schools in 1975 are mapped to the schools’ locations in this StoryMap, which invites the viewer to both place primary sources within their individual school contexts and to draw connections between the experiences of schools across the city.
Community and Archival Resources
Union of Minority Neighborhoods
Boston Busing/School Desegregation Project - The Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN) launched the Boston Busing/School Desegregation Project in 2011 in order to address the painful history of school desegregation in Boston and to develop a better understanding of its impact on current public school education issues. Resources include three reports produced by UMN that detail the goals and organization of the project and present the results of interviews, community events, film screenings, and other research.
“Can We Talk? - Learning from Boston's Busing/Desegregation Crisis" (2011 film) - “Can We Talk?” is a 55 min documentary produced by the Union of Minority Neighborhoods that highlights the voices of individuals who lived through and were impacted by “busing” and school desegregation in Boston in the 1970s.
Freedom House Photographs - The Freedom House Photographs website provides access to digitized photographs and negatives dating 1950-1975 from the Freedom House collection in Northeastern University's Archives and Special Collections. Freedom House, a Roxbury-based community organization, was active in the school desegregation movement in Boston beginning in the 1960s. The organization was the site of one of the Freedom Schools and helped organize hotlines and information centers for parents.