Interview with Kevin White
QUESTION 5
JACKIE SHEARER:

That's okay.

KEVIN WHITE:

From Plymouth Rock to about, uh, to about the turn of the century of 19--1900. And at that time, the Irish began to battle the Yankees, what we call the Yankee Brahin for control of the city. The turn of the century, Boston had the number one public school system in America, it had the number one teaching hospital in America, it had the number one symphony orchestra in America, it had the number one public library system in America. Thirty years later, merely because the Yankees and the Irish fought for political control of the city, we had lost primacy in all of those institutions, business had fled the city, and it was as economically dead as some of the worst cities in America today. And so, political infighting, as a high priority to what we do in this city, has been unfortunately our downfall on more than one occasion. And this was to portend that, again, this fight now, was with the Irish, who had won it in the '30s, but many other groups had left the city, fighting with the Blacks, who wanted to share in quality education, the jobs the city provided, and at this moment in time, city government was for the Irish the company business, in a town that had no other form of employment. So it was not only politics, it was a source of livelihood that was threatened by the changes that were coming, if we were going to move into quality education and an amalgamation of the Blacks and the minorities within the system. Is that a little better?