Interview with Jane Duwors

Now can you tell me how, um, you think that South Boston and the city as a whole were affected by busing? In terms of who do you think paid, and was the price worth it?


I think South Boston became much stronger and much more unified as a result of, ah, forced busing, the desegregation order. I think the city became polarized as anybody could well see it. It became a city that was split right down the middle between Black and White. A city that really wasn't like that beforehand. Might have had their problems here and there, but on the whole you could go anywhere in the city and not have to look over your shoulder. But forced busing soon brought an end to that. Who was the loser? Was it worth it? Definitely not. Who was the loser? Of course in this case it was the children. The children that were denied an education that would prepare them for the outside world. Especially the high schoolers. They were assigned to schools that didn't have the programs that they were interested in. Many of them dropped out because of that fact. There was no learning for the first, I would say the first three years. Everything took a back seat to the racial quotas and, um, it, it just wasn't worth it, ah, it could have been done much more intelligently and it could have been done in a kinder way. It could have taken into consideration the 500 seniors, the juniors at South Boston High School. And let them graduate from South Boston High School. You could have taken into consideration program needs of the students. And could have taken into consideration, ah, the quality of education and worked to improve the quality of education in the schools that did have problems. Was it worth it? No way. No way. I cannot see any good that came out of forced busing in the city of Boston. To this day the wounds haven't healed. And the city is still really split on a racial basis for the most part. Even though people tell you, politicians tell you it's not so. It is so.