Busing: white girl, black schools, lonely

busingClara Silverstein,
Boston, MA.

As one of the white children in Richmond, Virginia in the 1970s whose family willingly participated in busing, I had few friends of any race. What we could have used at the time was leadership instead of racist rhetoric, white flight, and school administrators who cancelled all after-school activities. The possibility of an interracial dance horrified them. The longest-lasting lesson: Race is a malignant social construct. Many of us wanted to reach out to each other but generations of misinformation and mistrust stood in the way. I have written about my own experiences and also use my background to help teens of all races express themselves in writing – their struggles to fit in and find a place for themselves – when fear too often silences all of us.

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