roxbury

Tonight, I saw first hand the complete apathy and violent behavior exhibited by the police force. Even in Boston, our so-called liberal city, I was ignored, berated, and laughed at by police officers blocking us via a barricade of bicycles at the highway entrance. Their fucking bikes were pushed up against my friends and I as they kept chastising us for “getting on their private property”. When we asked them what they were protecting, if they had any empathy, why they were stopping us–they were silent. When they got out their zip ties to arrest folks and I asked what they were doing, they were fucking silent. They attacked my friend, they pulled innocent people over the barricade, and they fucking laughed at us while they were doing it. 

I had no reception or access to social networking sites while up there. It wasn’t until we all moved to march down Massachusetts Avenue, that my cellular reception was magically restored. 

This isn’t over. The Montgomery Bus Boycotts lasted from December 1, 1955 to December 20, 1956. 381 days. If we keep pushing forward, if we keep marching, they can’t ignore us.

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How Arts Education Saved a Roxbury Public School

Orchard Gardens K-8 Public School in Roxbury used to have a definite “prison feel”, according to new principal Andrew Bott. Bott, assuming the role of principal in 2010, made the decision to redirect the hundreds of thousands of dollars going towards security guards and spend it instead on art teachers. Now, 10% of the school’s budget goes towards arts and physical education. The kids that were once shuffled from class to class, forbidden from wearing backpacks due to the risk of concealed weaponry, are now chillin with Yo-Yo Ma; walking through bright halls lined with paintings from their peers; attending ballet performances; and, as put by 8th grader Keyvaughn Little, “I’ve been more open, and I’ve expressed myself more than I would have before the arts have came”. 

Orchard Gardens now has one of the fastest student improvement rates state-wide. Even the principal admits that it may have been “a little crazy”, but the switch has obviously worked in the kids’ favor.

Some more wisdom from our friend Keyvaughn, whose grades have improved due to increased confidence from his new art classes: “There’s no one particular way of doing something, and art helps you like see that”. 

Read more here or here or here