Southie Boy: A Busing Story

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: padriac82@gmail.com

4 Comments

  1. Michelle M Connolly
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I cant wait to see this movie.. because my family and lived threw forced busing and what kills me is I was in 1st grade that yr and was forced to a school in Roxbury and no one cared about my bus or that we were not welcomed in there neighborhood or in there school.. how a bunch of 1st-5th graders had to hide under there seats of the bus while it was being bombed with eggs and bottles and rocks!! Were was are police escort? were was the news camera’s? we were met with just as much hostility and hate and anger we were or at I was to young to understand what was happening.. My Mother was trying to keep my brother Brian safe who was up at South Boston High School trying to get an education but got arrested instead…My sister Laurie was the sadest she was due to graduate South Boston High that year and was busted to Roxbury High and chose to just take her GED instead she was to scared to go there..So yes I am very interested in seeing your film I just touched on how this era effected me and my family wondering how it effected Southie Boy…I know to this day I am 1st labeled a racist to people get to know me just because i was born and raised in Southie because of that era…

  2. Terri Grastorf
    Posted March 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    I am so very interested in this film, as my family was deeply affected by the events that followed this ruling. We became one of the families that were “tuition poor” opting to pay for catholic school instead of letting our children be sent to Roxbury or North Dorchester for schooling. Why should we send our kids to a school that was not better than ours when we can walk 2 blocks! Weren’t we “inner city” kids? Why wasn’t the metco program available to our kids? Still angry 40 years later…now they want to reverse that decision? Hmmm… millions of $$$ spent on buses, gas and repairs instead of improving schools in ALL neighborhoods-pretty poor, pretty poor.

  3. Posted March 27, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I cant wait to see this movie.. because my famliy and lived threw forced busing and what kills me is I was in 1st grade that yr and was forced to a school in Roxbury and no one cared about my bus or that we were not welcomed in there neighborhood or in there school.. how a bunch of 1st-5th graders had to hide under there seats of the bus while it was being bombed with eggs and bottles and rocks!! Were was are police escort? were was the news camera’s? we were met with just as much hostility and hate and anger we were or at I was to young to understand what was happening.. My Mother was trying to keep my brother Brian safe who was up at South Boston High School trying to get an education but got arrested instead My sister Laurie was the sadest she was due to graduate South Boston High that year and was busted to Roxbury High and chose to just take her GED instead she was to scared to go there..So yes I am very interested in seeing your film I just touched on how this era effected me and my famliy wondering how it effected Southie Boy I know to this day I am 1st labeled a racist to people get to know me just because i was born and raised in Southie because of that era

  4. Liz
    Posted September 15, 2014 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I am very interested in seeing your movie. I lived my high school years during busing graduating in 1976 thanks to mine and other parents founding a school, a safe place for me to finish my high school education. To this day I speak of that turbulent time for me and all the families in South Boston. I sometimes feel like I’m educating people on what actually happened during that time including my husband who grew up in Braintree! People don’t know what it was like to have lived in the South Boston community during this time. I will never forget the disruption and confusion for all students and their families…..white or black.

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