Interview with Robert Kiley

Um, can you give us a little bit about the role of race in school politics was?


Well at the risk of oversimplifying it, I think fair to say that Black parents found themselves throughout the 1960s in the positions of supplicants, and unsuccessful supplicants, ah. Whites dominated the school committee. Race quickly became an issue. And, ah it became a highly charged very emotional issue. But neither the School Department or the City Government was really prepared to deal with race, once the judge had acted--once the courts had found that, ah, the system was really a segregated system, so that the years 1974-1975, which would have been difficult in any event, became almost impossible.