Linda Brown, a third-grader in Topeka, Kan., used to play with the white girls who lived on her street. But on school days, Guinevere and Wanda walked seven blocks to the white school, while Linda took a bus to the school for blacks.
Few argue today over the essential justice of the 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, that struck down legalized segregation.
Yet, here in Boston, it’s a sad irony that a decision that let a black girl attend her neighborhood school is remembered quite differently — as the case that allowed a federal judge to pull white students out of their neighborhood schools and bus them across town.
Resentment over busing still runs deep here, as we saw last week when three city councilors declined to support a resolution commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Brown decision.
Perhaps they didn’t want to offend the ghosts of their political forebears who rose to prominence in anti-busing campaigns. Salvatore LaMattina of East Boston, one of the three who voted “present” instead of “yes,” got involved in politics because of Pixie Palladino, a feisty housewife and school committee member who told a stadium of people: “Eastie will never be bused.”
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