Smith, Mary Ellen (interviewee)
From a series of audio recordings with members of Boston's Black community about the busing crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s. An activist in Boston, Smith was a founder of the City-Wide Educational Coalition and in the mid-1980s served as Chair of the state Board of Education. Discussion of history of educational protest in Boston's Black community and her involvement in the Liberation School in the late 1960s and its aftermath; formation of City-Wide Educational Coalition in summer of 1974 and panic on the onset of the crisis in September; difficulties and dangers of organizing in South Boston and Charlestown during the crisis; painful impact on kids and families caught in the middle in Southie and poor support by police and city, "the cops wouldn't do anything"; desperately poor planning for the city to bring about desegregation and freedom of choice; attempts to bring anti-busing people into the discussion; impact of the failure to take redistricting into consideration during desegregation; Black community critiques of CWEC as a white-dominated organization and sapping resources from other organizations (e.g. the Freedom House Coalition).