Interview with Tracy Amalfitano

Could you talk about the incident of violence that happened soon after a little bit of media exposure?


Basically, ah, I did experience quite a few situations that, that were very difficult for me personally, for my kids and made us very fearful for our lives, for, for a long period of time. ah, Eleanor Roberts of the Boston Herald asked the Task Force, somehow she had heard about it. I don't, I don't know how this happened either but she heard about the group and she wanted to meet with us. ah, we had a lot of discussion about that to decide if that if that would be positive or negative and, and we really didn't know. This was prior to the second phase of, ah, of school desegregation and we said, if there's anything that we can do that maybe will give a message that, number one, not all of us in South Boston are out there throwing rocks, not all of us are out there screaming racial epithets and that if there was anything we could do to prevent any further violence in the street for any of our kids, whether they were in South Boston or in Roxbury then we would be willing to do it. And Eleanor Roberts did a lengthy article. I guess none of us realized how long it would be but it ended up being on the front page, I believe of the Focus Section in the Boston Herald in August of 1975. And, that came out on a Sunday. That week, one rather warm night, I just happened to look out the window and there were about fifty people coming down the street, ranging in age, mostly male, ranging in age from probably 14 years-old to 25, with beer bottles and rocks and pelted my, my house and gave us one good scare. And, ah, that was over in a short, short period of time. But later on, as there was more media exposure, I received threatening letters in the mail. I received many harassing telephone calls threatening my life, threatening my husband. I drove around a maroon station wagon, which is now long gone, but that car had fifteen separate attacks on it, if you will. One day it would be, ah, the windshield. Another day it would a tire or weeks later it would be another window. And that was very frightening. I must admit. And I did not sleep well for, for months. It was scary. Ah, none the less, our decisions held. We took a lot of, we took a lot of heat for a long period of time and it was difficult. It was not easy.