Amid school changes, giving voice to busing’s past

By News Staff


BOSTON (AP) – Boston native Ginnette Powell will never forget riding a public school bus as protesters hurled bricks at it.

The 48-year-old African-American finally retraced the two miles from her home to her old middle school for the first time last year, and recently shared her experiences in a story circle.

The nonprofit Union of Minority Neighborhoods has been hosting the group exercises across Boston, where participants talk about how the city's busing crisis impacted them in the 1970s.

Organizers hope it will unite people like Powell to fight for better access to quality public schools for all students, even as a new school assignment system starts.

School officials recently agreed to do away with the last vestiges of the desegregation-based school assignment system that started after a 1974 court decision ordered student busing.

Meant to integrate schools, it sparked years of violence and racial unrest in Boston.