Digital Commonwealth

Press Conference

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Press Conference
Reaction to Brooke Ruling, Rally with Dick Gregory/Rev. Carter
In 1964, despite a year of sustained efforts by the NAACP, parents, and other civil rights activists, the Boston Public Schools remained racially segregated and negotiations with the Boston School Committee continued to be futile. The Citizens for Human Rights (CHR), the group that organized the Boston’s successful 1963 Stay Out for Freedom, evolved into the Massachusetts Freedom Movement (MFM) and again led by Reverend James Breeden and Noel Day, organized another Stay Out campaign for February 26, 1964. The 1964 Stay Out, however, was also part of an emerging a national school boycott movement against segregated schools in the North, including similar demonstrations in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. WGBH-FM covered the Massachusetts Freedom Movement’s February 12, 1964 press conference in which they responded to a legal opinion by Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke that ruled the Stay Out “unlawful.” While the MFM leaders acknowledged the authority of the Attorney General’s office, they vehemently argued that the forthcoming action of the parents, children and leadership against a system of segregation was a matter of moral conscience that superseded any legal ramifications. Reverend James Breeden, Noel Day and Reverend Vernon Carter also responded to reporters’ questions regarding the Freedom Schools, possibilities of arrests and NAACP negotiations with the Boston School Committee. They also announced that the February 25, 1964 Freedom Rally would be led by civil rights activist Dick Gregory and that both Mr. Gregory and author Louis Lomax would join the faculty of the Freedom Schools. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Audrea Dunham.
Breeden, James
Day, Noel
Carter, Vernon
February 12, 1964
Collection (local):
WGBH Open Vault
Educational Issues-Legality of School Boycott
Race Relations-Northern Discrimination
Race Relations-De facto Segregation
Stay Out for Freedom Day
Roxbury, Massachusetts
Freedom Schools
Boston, Massachusetts
Civil Rights Era
Politics-Law Enforcement by State Attorney General
Educational Issues-Civil Disobedience
Politics-National Association for the Advancement of Colored People/Boston School Committee Negotiations
DVD, 00:18:30;00
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