Sept. 11 at 8 p.m.
The Bussing Battleground
On September 12, 1974, police were stationed outside schools across Boston as Black and white students were bused for the first time between neighborhoods to comply with a federal court desegregation order. The cross-town busing was met with shocking violence, much of it directed at children: angry white protestors threw rocks at school buses carrying Black children and hurled racial epithets at the students as they walked into their new schools.
After the 1954 Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, little more than token efforts were made to desegregate Southern schools. That changed dramatically on October 29, 1969, when the high court ordered that Mississippi schools fully and immediately desegregate. As a result, six-year-old Douglas Blackmon entered school in the fall of 1970 as part of the first class of Black and white children who would attend all 12 grades together in Leland, Mississippi.