Boston Buses

Boston Buses

The William Monroe Trotter Institute and the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston will screen the film Can We Talk: Learning for Boston?s Busing/Desegregation Crisis on February 14 from 11 am to 1 p.m.

The screening will take place on the 11th floor of the Healey Library at UMass Boston. For more information, email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5944.

Can We Talk? is a film by media producer Scott Mercer. The film was commissioned by Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN) to capture some on the voices that motivated UMN to begin the Boston Busing/Desegregation Project (BBDP). The film?s purpose is to inspire many others to tell their stories of this era and to invite them into the Project. To learn more about the BBDP, visit http://bbdplearningnetwork.wordpress.com.

The film offers powerful stories of the 1970?s busing/desegregation crisis that changed Boston forever. Most of those in the film have never publicly shared their stories. It documents how this crisis is still felt today. It aspires to prompt a long-overdue honest conversation about public education and racism, classism, and social injustices that have plagued not only the Boston public schools, but the city of Boston as a community.

They include a bus driver who delivered children to neighborhoods and schools that didn?t want them. A resident of the projects whose admittedly racist family refused to let her be bused to a school with children of color talks about how she was shunned and stigmatized for being poor in the school she attended instead. We also learn from a parent who got involved in politics by accident because of the forces of systemic racism that denied quality of education and simple

respect. These individuals express their feelings, thoughts, and opinions in a candid, honest and, at times, raw way.

While these stories are powerful, there are many, many more stories is to be told if this period is to be understood. The film is an invitation to a process of truth, learning and change and a much larger discussion of what everyone can learn from this iconic period in Boston. The film is a vehicle to help spark honest reflections, dialogues and conversations across the city that would help lead to truth telling about and learning from this era and ultimately to deepen engagement in and commitment to strengthening Boston?s public school system for all its residents.

Audience comments and personal stories will be welcomed, and encouraged, following each screening of Can We Talk?

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