Interview with Evelyn Morash

Now I'd like to--sorry for this--back in time again, before school deseg had actually happened, before the court's order, before the opening of school. Was there anything in the wind, what was the feeling out there? Just describe the mental climate.


OK, the first quarter. The states were going to implement their fashion of desegregation, because they were going to be in violation of the state racial imbalance law if they didn't have, ah, desegregation plan in place by December. So that was all set to go, we knew that. Then the court order came down in June and rather than come up with a whole new plan, Judge Garrity used the states plan as Phase 1. People were very anxious. People across the city knew that that had to happen in September, and groups started to organize across the city to explain the pla- explain the plan to parents, to try to quell any kind of trouble that might start arising. But, ah, but to look at it in an even looking at it more positive way, rather than the quell trouble: to answer questions, to give positive information, and to stop all the rumor mongering that was going on. And if kids were assigned, going to be assigned to schools--and they weren't going to be assigned to schools way across town, they were going to be assigned to adj- contiguous neighborhoods to get the parents to visit those schools. And during that time there were parents that saw those schools their kids were going to go to and were unhappy about them, and pressure was put to get some of the schools into better shape when the kids got there. So there was a lot of activity going on that summer, there were all of those community meetings going on, there were people rallying around. There were also people rallying around the ROAR[SIC] group was rallying to make the opening of school as disruptive as possible, but there was a lot of activity that whole summer.