Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
African American Studies | Ethnic Studies | History of Gender | Intellectual History | Oral History | Political History | Social History | United States History | Women's History | Women's Studies
Since the 1980s, narratives surrounding the Boston Busing Crisis focus on South Boston white working-class’s reaction to Judge Arthur W. Garrity's forced desegregation order of 1974. Yet, by analyzing the crises from such narrow perspective, the narratives leave out half of the story. This dissertation challenges these narratives by situating the busing crisis as the culmination of more than half a century of grassroots activism led by Black working-class mothers. By taking action at the neighborhood and the city levels, these mothers succeeded where the National Association for the Advancement of the Colored People and the Urban League had failed. This study is the first one to analyze the role of these “ordinary mothers,” who, through their actions and influence, transformed the civil rights leadership in Boston between the 1920s and the mid-1970s.
de Chantal, Julie, "“If There Are Men Who Are Afraid to Die, There Are Women Who Are Not”: African American Women's Civil Rights Leadership in Boston, 1920-1975." (2016). Doctoral Dissertations. 621.