Interview with Alan Lupo

Now, paint us a word picture of what you saw, and what you heard outside of South Boston High, that first day.


What sticks in my mind from the first day of busing, standing outside of Southie High School, was a sort of a rush of a crowd, verbal, not a roar really, but, but a, although that's what they called themselves, roar. It was almost like a growl. And it was scary. And I learned the word "nigger" and I saw something fly through the air, a bottle or a can and it smacked the ground. You were a Black person walking into the school. That sticks in my mind more than anything else in terms of what I heard. But then there's what I saw. And that's more important than what I heard. What I saw was Black kids looking at where they were being bussed and being disappointed. Black kids smiling as if to be cocky but really nervous. Blacks walking as if to taunt the White kids but I think really scared. White families looking, with perhaps a combination of hatred and fear, and other Whites looking with no hatred but fear and curiosity. Children looking with ignorance and awe. Their hands being held by parents who had been through a lot of hell in their White lives and were looking at a change that they couldn't understand. It was a pitiful sight for everybody.


Great cut.