Interview with Evelyn Morash
QUESTION 9
JACKIE SHEARER:

Did desegregation have an effect just for Black kids and their parents?

EVELYN MORASH:

No. I don't think so. For years I had always thought here in East Boston itself where it's said that we had a total school system with- we really had even inequality in those school systems. We had one junior high school and we had two schoo- who, which went from seventh to ninth grade. And we had two schools which went through the eighth grade with kids graduating the eighth grade. I always thought that was very discriminating to the kids who went to the junior high school. Kids who went to junior high school and those were the kids who were basically from this area here, Eagle Hill, and all the way down the bottom of the hill, had to stay in that junior high school until the ninth grade. So if those kids wanted to go to Latin School, they had to go to Latin School as sophomores, not in their freshman year. Ah, so if they were looking for a pure academic experience at Latin School they were, only got three years of it. If for purely sports, ah, interested parent who wanted their kid to get a sports scholarship, that kid didn't get up to the high school to be on the football team until he was a sophomore. I said, "There's something wrong here. We're getting inequality." Wi- one of the key pieces of the desegregation order was that it broke down that two system and it made it a one system. We got elementaries, middle schools and high s- four year high schools across the city. So everybody had the opportunity to go to a four year high school. That to me was a big change in what we had. It also gave people a chance to look at what different kind of high schools were around. Ah, because as long as you could go to your district high school you were going to be happy with it, no matter what they did there. And you didn't look, and it might have been the best high school in the city. But it might not have been the best one for you. So you, it was really limiting your options by not opening up, not giving you access to all those other high schools. And the desegregation order did give you access to those other high schools.