Documentary Looks At City’s Busing Crisis Through A Unique Lens

Scott Mercer's new film, "Can We Talk? " takes a new look the Boston busing crisis. Above, police take an unidentified youth into custody following stoning of school buses after they left South Boston High School the second day of court-ordered busing in Boston on Sept. 14, 1974. (AP)

There are few events in the history of Boston more tumultuous and painful than the busing crisis of the mid-1970s.  In 1974, Federal Judge Arthur Garrity found a recurring pattern of racial discrimination in the city’s public schools.  The remedy: a busing plan to carry white kids to predominantly black schools and black kids to predominantly white schools.

Scott Mercer’s new film, Can We Talk? Learning from Boston’s Desegregation,” tells the story of the busing crisis through the voices of the people who lived it. The documentary will be shown as part of the annual Roxbury International Film Festival, which showcases the work of emerging and established filmmakers of color.

“Can We Talk? Learning from Boston’s Desegregation” will be shown on Saturday, June 16 at the Blackman Auditorium at Northeastern University at 3:15 p.m., as part of the Roxbury International Film Festival.


  • Scott Mercer, independent documentary filmmaker and director


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