The following list, while not comprehensive, includes books, digital initiatives and projects that document aspects of the civil rights movement, including the desegregation of public schools. Digital initiatives focusing on Boston appear first followed by projects that explore civil rights throughout the United States.

Published print & video resources related to desegregation of Boston Public Schools  


Ronald P. Formisano. Boston Against Busing: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s. University of North Carolina Press (2nd Revised edition), 2004. 

J. Anthony Lukas. Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families. Vintage Books, 1986.

Michael Patrick MacDonald. All Souls:A Family Story from Southie. Beacon Press, 2007.

Ione Malloy. Southie Won't Go: A Teacher's Diary of the Desegregation of South Boston High School. University of Illinois Press, 1986.

Jim Vrabel. A People's History of the New Boston. University of Massachusetts Press, 2014.


Eyes on the Prize, episode 7, "The Keys to the Kingdom (1974-80),"  chronicles the 1970s, an era which tested the antidiscriminatory legal rights gained the previous two decades. In Boston, some whites violently resisted a federal court order to desegregate Boston’s public schools. Documenting reactions to forced busing in Boston, this episode contains interviews with METCO activist, Jean McGuire. Eyes on the Prize, the award-winning documentary, weaves together personal recollections and interviews, photographs, television footage, and archival materials to recount the fight to end segregation in the United States. “Produced by Blackside, Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life.”

Digitized Resources Related to Desegregation of Boston Public Schools  

Boston Before Busing, an exhibit created by Northeastern University Archives, documents civil rights in Boston in the years prior to desegregation of schools. "Activism for educational civil rights in Boston began well before 1974, when the 'Garrity' decision mandated busing to fix de facto segregation in Boston schools. This exhibit introduces key people, groups, and events in Boston from 1964–1974, describing the community effort that led to the desegregation decision that still affects Boston today."

Boston Public School Desegregation Collection at Northeastern University provides viewing access to thousands of images related to desegregation of Boston's public schools.

Boston Busing/Desegregation Project For Truth, Learning, and Change strives to link Boston's history to its present and future "with a focus on issues of race and class equity, achieving excellence in our urban institutions, and democratic access to power and resources to make equity and excellence happen." The project evolved from attempts to organize Black parents around public school education.

Digital Commonwealth: “a non-profit collaborative organization that provides resources and services to support the creation, management, and dissemination of cultural heritage materials in Massachusetts,” provides access points to collections the document desegregation including WBGH’s Media Library and Archives, the “Open Vault.” Providing online access to content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH, the Open Vault contains interviews about and reactions to Boston's desegregation.

Freedom House Digital Photographs contains over than 2,300 images of people, places and events from the Freedom House, Inc.  “Founded in 1949, Freedom House’s mission was to centralize community activism in the fight for neighborhood improvement, good schools, and harmony among racial, ethnic, and religious groups in Roxbury, Massachusetts.”  Freedom House, Inc. Records are housed at Northeastern University.

The National Archives Experience: Docs That Teach: Tallulah Morgan et al. v. James W. Hennigan et al. provides hundreds of digitized images of records related to Morgan v Hennigan, the case which prompted the federal mandate to desegregate Boston's public schools. As part of its initiative to encourage teachers to use primary sources in the classroom, the National Archives makes available thousands of selected letters, records, photographs, and other archival materials.


Digitized Civil Rights Resources: United States

The Civil Rights Digital Library: An undertaking to provide centralized access to the wide variety of civil rights-related material that has already been digitized.

 The Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive: This project provides a selection of digitized correspondence, photographs, oral histories, and other material documenting a local history of civil rights.

Civil Rights History Project: Part of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture, this project assists researchers in locating oral history collections relevant to the civil rights movement,

The Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE) project was "created to identify, locate, catalog and preserve records that document Virginia's school desegregation process."

Freedom Now Project of the Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries collects memories of civil rights protests that occurred during the summer of 1963 in Farmville, Virginia.

Lynn Goldsmith Papers are part of the Brandeis University Alumni Collection. While a student at Brandeis, Goldsmith participated in the Summer Community Organization and Political Education Project (SCOPE), organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1965. Her diary meticulously documented her experiences in the civil rights movement.

 The Queens College Civil Rights Archives: "The archive collects personal papers, community materials, organizational records, non-print materials, and artifacts of civil rights activists. The collections are particularly strong in documenting the civil rights work by Queens College students during the early 1960s. The Civil Rights Archive is an active participant in its communities, working with students and alumni of Queens College, local schools, and the city at large."

The Robert Russa Moton Museum: A center for the study of Civil Rights in Education, the museum highlights the struggle to desegregate public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia.

Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County: Part of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, the center is New York City's largest circulating Black Heritage reading collection.

The University of Baltimore: Assembled a model digital exhibit concerning the urban unrest in 1968.

The Virginia Center for Digital History: This project collects television news coverage of the civil rights era, 1950-1970.

50 Years Later: Civil Rights: "CBS News' Bob Schieffer hosts a special live symposium at the Ed Sullivan Theater in NYC looking back at the fight against segregation and the continuing struggle for equal rights."