Interview with Juanita Wade

OK, but, now I'd like you to pull this back to Boston specifically and tell me what your assessment was, how were you feeling back in the late '70s? How were you feeling then about what was going on? Um, could things have been any different?


I think the struggle in the '70s could have been different if the NAACP and those who supported the suit, um, began to, ah, reframe the question around what parents really want, and not what the lawyers and the legalists saw as important. Parents demanded quality education, the opportunity to determine for themselves what was best for their children. That required a certain amount of political power in Boston, which we didn't have in the late '70s. Um, while a few Blacks held political office on the state level, state representative office, um, we did not hold political power in the city, and in fact had no political power as it related to public education. Um, and so it could have been different had we been able to change the direction of the struggle.