The Legacy of Busing


Kevin Merida
*Writer, Columnist and Editor, The Washington Post
*Was bused from Seat Pleasant in Prince George's County to Temple Hills, starting in Jan. 1973, when he was 15 and a sophomore in at Central High School—went from all-black school to being only 19 percent of black population in Temple Hills

Katani Sumner
*Outreach Coordinator at NPR member station WBGH in Boston
*Was bused from Dorchester to Lexington, Mass. starting in 1969 at age 6 - voluntarily via the METCO program

Susan Eaton
*Author, The Other Boston Busing Story (Yale University Press, 2001)
*Researcher, The Civil Rights Project, Harvard University

Susan Uchitelle
*Former, Executive Director of St. Louis's Voluntary Interdistrict Coordinating Council (the busing and school desegration program begun by court-order in 1981)

Orlando Patterson
*Professor of Sociology, Harvard University
*Author,The Ordeal of Integration: Progress and Resentment in America's Racial Crisis (Counterpoint Press, 1998)

In 1970, a school system in Charlotte, N.C. was court ordered to use busing to achieve racial balance. Over the next decade, many other cities adopted the practice. It was accepted by some but caused turmoil and even led to violence in others. Today, many districts have abandoned the controversial policy. What's the legacy of mandatory school busing and is voluntary busing a better way to achieve the goal of school desegregation? Join Neal Conan in this hour of Talk of the Nation from NPR News.

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