Eighteen Months Face Down, Covered in Glass
My mother, Michelle K. Robinson was born in April of 1960, six years after segregation in public schools was declared unconstitutional and a violation of the 14th amendment. In 1974, in South Boston Massachusetts, my mother survived the Boston Bus Riots, a postscript to Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.
The sky was grey on a Tuesday morning when I opened the side door to my parents’ apartment; it was left open for me. I was there to interview my mother.
As I slunk through the morning kitchen heavy with the scent of coffee and dishes, my mother warmly shushed from the other room, “I hear you over there.” I settled down in the living room, dropping my jacket and bags on the floor and sitting cross-legged on a big, pink, and welcoming floor pillow. With a cup of black coffee and the record button pressed down on the phone in my hands, we began.
“We were always afraid that they were going to tip the bus over, and the only thing that stopped us from being afraid of that was the fact they were lined up on both sides,” Michelle rolled her eyes, exhaled deeply and lit her cigarette.
The Boston Bus Riots phenomena was the retaliation of Irish South Boston Residents in response to the court ordered busing of students from predominantly white to predominantly Black Boston schools and vice versa. Federal District Court Judge W. Arthur Garrity put this in place during the summer of 1974. Continue reading ““Eighteen Months Face Down, Covered in Glass””