Boston Public Schools, Busing, Desegregation, Ellis School
1930's class picture. Courtesy of the David A. Ellis School in Voices of Achievement, a book about the David A. Ellis School. 
(Note: this photo and its citation were provided to us by Discover Roxbury)

Overview of Project:
In the Boston Public Schools, the 2014-2015 school year marks the 40th anniversary of the implementation of the “forced busing,” or the desegregation order, resulting from the 1972 Morgan V. Hennigan decision. While acknowledging that this anniversary is somewhat arbitrary, as segregation was a long process, and desegregation may not yet be fully complete, the Boston Public Schools history department still seeks to ensure that every Boston Public Schools student learns about this important and troubling chapter in our city’s history.

This project will be on-going and it is currently in the “off to a good start,” or initial, phase. We have contacted many community partners to obtain resources and varied perspectives on this topic. However, there is work still to be done that will continue into the next several school years. Segregation and desegregation in Boston are not “black and white” issues; over the next few years, we will look to add materials that address these topics by including more information and resources related to the struggles that our Hispanic and Latino, Asian, Cape Verdean, and new arrival Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and African immigrants have encountered related to segregation in our schools. We also need to better develop our resources to connecting segregation and desegregation in our schools to segregated public and private housing in our neighborhoods, and the policies that created these geographical boundaries between racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups.

Our website currently includes a robust resource gallery full of multi-media sources.  Our teacher page houses model lessons for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. As history teachers, we will encourage you to use our materials, but we also ask you to cite your sources correctly when you do so. We also encourage you to pay particular note to the collections in our resource gallery, such as Suffolk University's Moakley archives, that contain oral history transcripts of interviews with individuals of varied backgrounds holding differing perspectives on the topic of Boston's busing and school desegregation. 

Boston Public Schools, Busing, Desegregation, Thank you, woodleywonderworks

Lastly, we would like to thank the following individuals and organizations who assisted in 
providing us with resources, materials, and guidance as we developed this project:

Donna Bivens, Paula Elliot, and Jose Lopez, Union of Minority Neighborhoods
Pat Walker, Voices Institute
AnneMarie Gleason, Abby Detweiler and Jennifer Hanson, Primary Source
Michelle LeBlanc, Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Denny Conklin and Fran Colletti, Facing History and Ourselves
Robert Allison, Suffolk University
Marisa Luce, Discover Roxbury

Please get in touch with us if you have recommendations for our expansion and revision of this project in the coming year!
-Boston Public Schools History Department
Kerry Dunne, Director of History and Social Studies (
Natacha Scott, Assistant Director of Research and Development (
Josue Sakata, Assistant Directory of Implementation (