In September of 1974 the doors of South Boston High School opened to the roaring crowd of protestors and media coverage over Federal Judge Arthur Garrity’s decision that Boston had “knowingly carried out a systematic program of segregation.”
Images of Southie residents throwing rocks at school buses containing black students, and racially charged chants and protest signs gave the community a reputation as one of the most violent and racist neighborhoods in Boston. Reeling from the turmoil of Boston’s Forced Busing Crisis, Southie became even more isolated, allowing for the surge of drugs and crime in the 1980’s, teen suicides in the 1990’s, and the start of the neighborhood’s gentrification at the beginning of the 21st Century.
As Boston’s Desegregation Era approaches its 40th anniversary, Padriac Farma, a lifelong South Boston resident, details the decline of the neighborhood through three generations of his family. By sharing their experiences of attending South Boston High School, political and religious abandonment, and receiving a bevy of negative media attention, Farma’s family tells a story that is often overlooked, and rarely captured.
By highlighting the dichotomy of this community, Southie Boy (formerly Southie 74) takes a step back from the traditional narrative of Boston’s Busing Era, and asks, “What happens when everything isn’t black and white?”
For more information, contact Padriac Farma: firstname.lastname@example.org