Interview with Juanita Wade

What do you think is correct or incorrect about feeling that, um, putting a Black kid next to a White kid would mean that, ah, the education would improve?


Well, clearly we saw, the community saw, that over the six or seven years that we had been implementing independent educational programs, um, we saw this, it was a farce to say that young Black children could not learn amongst themselves, that for some strange reason they had to sit in a classroom next to White students to get properly educated. Um, the focus on moving children was inappropriate. The focus should have been on the control. Who controlled the Boston Public School System, and whose interests were they working on? In fact they weren't even working on the interests of poor White children, because they were disenfranchised as it related to education as well. They were not getting, South Boston High was not considered, um, a fantastically good high school. In fact, the high schools that even working class White families wanted to go to were in the neighborhoods where upper-income White people lived. And so the resources, even to, for White students wasn't equitable. So, the wrong battle was being fought. The battle was being fought for integration and not for quality education.