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in cities across the nation the strategy of the school boycott has become a major issue in cambridge maryland civil rights leader gloria richardson i think with la area has just begun here but i think in chicago and author wang wei hop with opposing integration for quite some number of years they raised its thirteen points up and they still had the factors that we get to be the thing i thought to how we are steadily awaiting appeals across the country day and you cannot stop with this type of de facto segregation you got to get here and eliminate the court opens a plane that will that will change the pattern real people thank you from boston the chairman of the school committee william e o'connor we admit that segregation exists in our schools the supreme court has ruled that under the constitution that is not allowable it has
never ruled that it gration must be head of the public schools yet has ruled that you cannot have segregation ana we formally admit that we have segregation then it involves a court trial the leaders have threatened a court trial but at the moment they have not attempted it waiting i suppose rest of family it meant that we had guilty of segregation then if we admit that it would be certainly a cause for coffee educational television this week school integration major target of the spreading school
boycotts including those scheduled this week in boston and chicago is de facto segregation joel silberman member of the board of editors of fortune magazine and author of the forthcoming book crisis in black and white explains the meaning and significance of the term the supreme court outlawed segregation in public schools ten years ago the cases before the court in nineteen fifty four involved communities which operated completely separate schools really grown white pupils children were assigned to one school or another solely because of their rights in new york chicago boston and other northern cities were boycotts of occurred children are assigned to schools according to the neighborhood in which they live regardless of their color the methods in the objectives are completely different therefore the results are much the same since the rose and whites generally live in separate neighborhoods where children attend separate schools and sure segregation is a
fact new york city for example has one hundred and thirty four elementary schools with a ninety percent or higher negro and puerto rican rome and one hundred and eighty six schools ninety percent or more white non puerto rican rome you grow civil rights leaders argue that the nineteen fifty four supreme court decision outlawed segregation as such weather that you're a dozen south or de facto the north and they're demanding that education words abandoning the neighborhood school policy in order to integrate their schools no one really knows whether they're right about the law not know de facto segregation cases yet reached the supreme court and the lower federal and state courts are sharply split on the question but the problem goes far beyond the question of law equally important is the question of how integration can be achieved a number of negro students keeps increasing number of white students keeps declining and white parents react to changes in zoning by
transferring their children to private schools or by moving to another community altogether navarro manhattan for example your own puerto rican youngsters already constitute more than seventy five percent of the elementary school in rome in boston a major point of contention in the integration battle was whether or not he facto segregation exists here is a report from george page wgbh tv in boston i need to pee about a thousand persons showed up last week for this freedom stay out day rally at boston's fremont methodist church the turnout indicates increasing support for the school boycott planned for february twenty six this is also a protest
march through downtown boston author lily lomax came to boston to address the rally he was billed as the first of several national figures who will come here to support a planned boycott last june eighteen boston became the first city in the nation to experience a pupil stay out as a protest against de facto segregation the office of the five member school committee was the main target of the tickets that day integration leaders say the june boycott resulted in more permanent teachers and more textbooks for the predominantly negro schools mrs louise de hicks was then chairman of the school committee she and the majority of the committee members steadfastly refused to concede that de facto segregation that exists in boston's public school it's physics was re elected to the school committee by a large majority and november's ballot in her one year term as chairman expired with her
re election and the committee chose a new chairman although no longer boston's top school official mrs hicks remains the integration his principle opponent she's a lawyer says the boycott is illegal and has personally threatened court action against the stay out leaders then last week in a decision that must have been agonizing massachusetts attorney general edward brooke rule that the planned boycott would be illegal broke said freud officers may illegally apprehend boycotting pupils gavin james breed know younger this global priest is leader of boston's boycott movement he organized the first boycott here and in fact is the originator of the boycott tactic which spread from boston to other cities will truly means possible court action against reagan but he is on dr there's been not much criticism including an editorial in the new york times and of course in boston cardinal cushing has come out against the
plan and freedoms day out day of the criticisms and around to the idea that this is not a valid means of protest or how do you answer that criticism i simply say that it's an unusual means of protest and many people when they are faced with the unusual say that it's wrong and certainly from the point of view deeply involved to express themselves namely the children who are in the schools but beyond that the parents are deeply involved too because we insist that parent that parents get their children permission sign permission slips on their return and any parent who's child is involved in the freedom school is deeply involved himself the boston school committee as a group will not say officially the de facto segregation that exists in the boston school they voted three to two that it did not exist at all what can you hope to accomplish with the boycott
well us it's easy to say something doesn't exist if when you say it it goes away and doesn't bother you anymore but as long as it keeps bothering the school committee sooner or later they're going to have to do side by majority vote the de facto segregation exists it's there whether they decided exists or they decided it doesn't our last stay out help wanted member of the school committee face up to the problem he did his homework and he no longer says the problem doesn't exist or hoping that this day outlook perhaps push a couple more over into our column and then we can get down to solving the problems the new chairman of boston school committee is william e o'connor an associate professor of business administration at suffolk university committee now says it's willing to meet with negro leaguers to talk about education but not de facto segregation
why is this the definition of the term meme become so important wouldn't be when it make your life easier if you went ahead and said well there is de facto segregation are racially in the us to some of the schools are racially imbalance oh why hasn't been the same systems on this definition of this time well again the majority obvious cool committee feel that at the end of a lace ep in their insistence on a formal vote of the school committee to acknowledge de facto segregation have a legal significance to it in other words if we admit that segregation exists in our schools the supreme court has ruled that under the constitution that is not allowable it has never ruled that integration must be head of the public schools yet has ruled that you cannot have segregation ana we formally admit that we have
segregation then it involves a court trial the leaders have threatened to go on trial but at the moment they have not attempted it waiting i suppose for us to formally admit that we're guilty of segregation then if we admit it it would be certainly a cars record pace and the only solution to segregation is an order to break it up and there is where the conflict comes taking children out of their own committee and bussing them all over the city too strange communities but in boston in order to provide seeds for those children in different communities we must take the children out of the seeds that out there in the navel and because we don't have many surplus seats on mass to take care of a shift of ten thousand pupils it's clear that immigration leaders are gaining new support from religious leaders and other groups outside the negro community but only one thing appears certain boston is in for a long
drawn out controversy over racially and balance schools already negro leaders are thinking beyond the next week's boycott one of them said if the school committee doesn't come up with a comprehensive integration plan we will find new forms of protest that are stronger than the boycott this is george page reporting from wgbh tv in boston a major new development in the school boycott movements in new york and chicago as a partial the fraction of the local and the boise of the chapters in new york and the boise is withdrawn from the citywide committee for integrated schools quote may still participate in the second one day boycott materializes from pj argo is a report by our home one of the chicago sun times and the beauty t w well the law that forbids anyone to induce attempt to induce child out of school
that we're inducing children's they'll have school of the protest against segregation in public schools the protests against an inferior education for segregated students have become a potent weapon in the arsenal of those who fight for civil rights that were used in chicago last october a massive boycott of chicago public schools' called freedom they have more than half of chicago's almost half million schools political a thousand pickets them in the chicago's downtown business district is part of the school boycott that could not have been brought about by people on the not really know however two days after the boycott the chicago board of education publicly reveal for the first time that twenty three percent of chicago's negro children attended school that did not have a single like eighty two percent of all of chicago pfleger of schoolchildren went to school there were
ninety percent and more negro on the other hand more than seventy six percent of chicago's white schoolchildren attended schools that were at least ninety percent white follow this seeming de facto segregation is of course of the red thong to do the gerrymandered school districts it is a critical issue in chicago because another school boycott have been threatened for later this month the second boycotted not a popular issue among all negro leaguers here's what mr juan flannery director of the chicago branch of the student nonviolent coordinating committee freedom to play evolve the second voice and i think there are a lot of people say oh oh oh and very effective advocate that we are all living in new york and very quickly when we go out there we debate in
the un at the time an encounter i live in that town with the adoption of the aisle they've been warning you about the party and in the community that they need to get in early january nineteen fifty eight the deal but they voted it that you get to get integrated they are not ready for that one thing that i had been waiting for that committee report we know we are in the living room and we gonna need them in the fall the reverend coffin quaye executive secretary for the chicago branch of the end the blaze
tv does not agree with with the land and the boise b that not agree with nor do they sponsor a second full boycott here is what the reverend que quoi as the surge now the proposal for a second with a convoy and i've been calling me wait a second win in one of hollywood community already know the way that we think of i don't believe that was an issue at one point up to the community the ire of many of the parents whose children even when the point of
you know the main thing that but living in the length of the polo hall at that majority minority of talk about the fact that there's no i don't see where the real size of less finding all through the song how would you want to meet and the chicago school boycott in october a considerable effort made to discover the problem acute this school segregated by virtue of rather than the problems are due to the school's partially or poorly integrated to commit even able respected and responsible educators art work and problems and trying to arrive at a solution a great deal of expected from his committee reports despite what mr landry percent
of public school boycott of the powerful weapon can easily get out of control and what a proportional chicago faith and just thought of the jewish myth of young civil rights leaders are advocating a second school boycott in chicago they're not supported and that's why all of the civil rights leader or by any of the negro complement to prove to be a weapon a bludgeoning power in october now being used for personal gain in an internet thing like within the civil rights leadership right into how it has been in fact a pandora's box no one really know that the opening of the boxing ring for good cambridge maryland achieve nationwide fame last year on the national guard was called out to quell demonstrations in place the city under martial law the truce was declared in september and human relations council was created
the major task of wiping out de facto segregation as rapidly as possible reverend alan watley chairman of the council and this is gloria richardson have clashed ever since last week after mrs richardson it called for a school boycott reporter andy stern asked the reverend wildly what he thought about it i'm definitely opposed to the boycott in my judgment it will stir up more animosity make it increasingly difficult for negroes and whites to adjust to each other and educational research whether that will happen that these demonstrations continue it makes it more difficult for people like myself and those interested in the welfare of our community to work it's creating an image of cambridge that certain extended far beyond the state of maryland it goes throughout the country this then reacts to the
detriment of encouraging industries to come to cambridge this is one of the things we hope for them but i i stated in washington and i state again that this industrial area was growing in cambridge making it possible for more people to have an opportunity of employment know i think at its huge on the part of extremists and kill the ghost that lay the golden eye and they are defeating the very purpose of which they strive to attain this is gloria richardson lead the school boycott in cambridge last week no one knows whether it was successful sinister figures in school boards differ we ask her why she thought a boycott was necessary well we have a segregated school to me that we live in a post incentive isn't used to the neighbors didn't get it at all in
their education is not up to the same part of the white students here on the other hand we don't believe we're going to go on a white teenager getting adequate education because you maintain segregated settlement economically are in the textbook questioned a very different text books within the school's curriculum prevent went to cambridge high as business more psychology to nineteen fifty seven counties since that come from a maximum of day practically was the way into a new post protest white schools private home and that we don't leave it the scaly fire what is what is the us were done to try to defeat the boycott i think they got a spy they attacked acceptance very definitively that the pickings politicians here they said the price
could be out of jail in his child's insides a deep dive into that begins when we thought were the database also implied that this would prevent them from recommending them to a decent job and they're going for college entrance into politics of course is ridiculous because you think that they could attend school here and still can get a decent job they were eligible was because they are the roads that they would expel him this was a roller some members of the community have complained that your group has made threats to some of the children that if they did show up when school that there would be certain actions taken against them were to say this you're hitting us
that's right no people anywhere bernstein mari local chairman of than double a cpa in cambridge and a member of the human relations council was asked what he thought of the school boycott strategy he used a few of this group over to the will to go home of hubert chill out
well jane mayer and to me and to truly a powerless to search for forty four bills to sit back and essentially what the bills are due to children who were killed or soft sell many negroes been accepted and white schools since the agreement or going to hell well congress changeover true
for all well people are strange to have called for particular want to lose your own country by and large schools and in rural areas are not only separate vote on the port chicago board of education for example appropriates twenty one percent less risky in all negro schools in an all white schools dr kahn the other hand spends roughly two hundred dollars a year more per pupil a negro and white schools but even slowly rose schools tend to be old and terribly overcrowded and academic achievement is a very poor third grade pupils and how long for example are one year behind grade level by sixth grade there for nearly two years behind the reason is not being grown very arty as john fisher president of teachers colleges put it i really wrote shiloh they enter school carries a burden no
white child can ever know no matter what handicapped or disabilities he may suffer research indicates that a negro youngsters aren't performing as well as white children to school as carry on a massive effort of compensatory education beginning at age four at the marine light is continuing always through school no city and even begun to do that a growing number of negroes are coming to agree with dr kenneth clark of city college distinguished euro psychologist the genuine integration will not be possible and so schools in negro neighborhoods are brought up to the level of the very best in the country in the long run excellence requires an end to segregation but in the short run compensatory education is necessary why then the insistence on desegregation now because the roads are convinced with good reason but why
taxpayers will not hate it when you grow schools up to the necessary standard of excellence without the threat of having their children transported into negro neighborhoods neither is please it's nice these days
this is at national educational television
At Issue
Episode Number
The Battle for School Integration
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
This program examines the spreading civil rights boycotts of northern schools. It surveys the positive and negative effectiveness of the boycotts, what these boycotts do to the political and asocial structure of a city, and probes whether this method for promoting school integration is a valid use of the boycott. To present an in-depth report, camera crews will go to one of these cities New York, Boston, or Chicago to show the preparation for a school integration boycott scheduled for February 25. Educators, teachers, pupils, civil rights leaders, and parents will be interviewed. There will also be on-the-spot coverage of similar boycotts scheduled for February 11 in one of the following three cities Cambridge, Maryland; Wilmington, Delaware; or Chester, Pennsylvania. Running Time: 28:50 (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
At Issue consists of 69 half-hour and hour-long episodes produced in 1963-1966 by NET, which were originally shot on videotape in black and white and color.
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Asset type
Talk Show
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
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Moving Image
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Executive Producer: Perlmutter, Alvin H.
Producer: Zweig, Leonard
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2004549-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2004549-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2004549-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
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Chicago: “At Issue; 20; The Battle for School Integration,” 1964-02-17, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2023,
MLA: “At Issue; 20; The Battle for School Integration.” 1964-02-17. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2023. <>.
APA: At Issue; 20; The Battle for School Integration. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from