Where did people ROAR?

ROAR was not a singular anti-busing group, but rather an umbrella of antibusing group networks throughout both the Boston neighborhoods and across the nation.

Boston Neighborhoods

Jamaica Plain Concerned Citizen's League Flyer

A flyer from the Jamaica Plain Concerned Citizen's League about a meeting at the local high school.

The neighborhoods that both accepted ROAR and created their own ROAR groups were the working-class neighborhoods of Boston, such as Jamaica Plain, South Boston, and Hyde Park. Most of the “headquarters” for neighborhood ROAR groups were at neighborhood information centers. These centers hosted ROAR meetings and most importantly provided ROAR-approved information to concerned citizens. ROAR-approved information included pamphlets on what certain schools taught, which neighborhoods and streets to avoid, and how parents could protect their children from the “evils of busing.”

Examples of these neighborhood ROAR groups included “Powder Keg” in Charlestown, the Tri-Neighborhood Association (TNA) in both West Roxbury and Roslindale, and the Concerned Citizen’s League in Jamaica Plain.[1][2]

 

Click here to learn more about Boston neighborhoods.

West Roxbury Information Center Fact Sheet for Parents of Boston

Shown on the right is a fact sheet for parents of Boston provided by the West Roxbury Information Center. This fact sheet specifically warn parents about summer programs forcing parents to accept forced busing and telling these parents to intensely question summer programs on their motives.

National Groups

Letter from Mrs. Lois A. Parrill to Louise Day Hicks

A letter from a Mrs. Lois A. Parrill of Denver, Colorado telling Louise Day Hicks that the Denver ant-force busing group "Citizens Association for Neighborhood School" voted to join the R.O.A.R National Group.

ROAR also had groups outside of Boston. People from across the nation supported ROAR and where the anti-busing organization stood. Through these supporters, other anti-busing groups sprang up in neighborhoods across the country in states such as Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, and New York (to name a few), most wanting to join the national ROAR organization. In Denver, Colorado, for example, one group called Citizens Association for Neighborhood School joined ROAR in the spring of 1975.[3]

First National ROAR Convention

Selections from the pamphlet from the First National R.O.A.R. Convention

Click on the cover page image to read selections from the pamphlet from the First National R.O.A.R. Convention.

ROAR's national standing allowed for the organization to host a public convention in the heart of the busing issue: Boston.

 ROAR held its first national convention in Boston on May 17 and 18, 1975. As the “Cradle of Liberty” according to the then National Director Louise Day Hicks, Boston served as the epitome of a ROAR organization to the numerous ROAR groups that began to show up during this time. People from across the nation, both supporters and dissenters, travelled to Boston to learn more about ROAR and their efforts to eradicate busing in the United States.  

Numerous supporters donated and advertised during the ROAR convention, some placing their names in the convention's pamphlet. Supporters for ROAR (according to the pamphlet) include members of the Boston City Council, members of the Boston School Committee, Senator William M. Bulger, Representative Michael F. Flaherty, Esq., Boston Firefighters, the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, and various businesses from the Greater Boston Area.

 

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References

[1] Formisano, Ronald O. Boston Against Busing. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1991., 123, 132.
[2] Author Unknown. Stop Forced Busing Meeting on July 21. Jamaica Plain: Jamaica Plain Concerned Citizen’s League, between 1974-1976. From Northeastern Archives & Special Collections, Citywide Educational Coalition records. Manuscript. Accessed April 2016.
[3] Mrs. Lois A. Parrill Correspondence Letter to Louise Day Hicks. Denver: Citizens Association for Neighborhood Schools, May 1975. From Boston City Archives, Louise Day Hicks Collection: Correspondence Letters. Manuscript. Accessed February 2016.

Where did people ROAR?