The general historical tools and language is apart of the social forces that influence the lives of youth in Boston. History, historical themes, social forces and G’ GREASES is also a big part of how social forces influences the youth in Boston. G’ GREASES is "an acronym and a useful tool to analyze history and the world around us. It provides different ‘lenses’ for understanding historical events, historical themes and the world we currently live in." Social Forces influenced Boston during three case studies we went through in class. Case study 1): Lowell Mills 1830, Case Study 2): Forced Busing in Boston 1970, Case Study 3): DSNI (Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative) 1980-1990. In these three case studies G’GREASES will be identified. G: geography, G: government, R: religion, E: economics, A: art/ architecture, S: science/ technology, E: education, S: social/ cultural values. Each case study will prove two to three of these social forces.
The Lowell Mills was a new age for women because they came to Lowell looking for work. The Lowell Mills was supposed to be an opportunity for women who wanted to have a sense of independence. The people involved in the Lowell Mills were the girls that came in and thought they wanted some independence, and the guards that watched them and kept them in line. The Lowell Mills happened because back then the women was the ones who worked and the men went to school. The idea that man and women occupied different areas of responsibility was another reason why the Lowell Mills happened. The Lowell Mills started in 1830 during the Industrial Revolution; the Lowell Mills took place in the mills further north of Boston.
During the Lowell Mills there were many social forces being talked around such as "Economics, government, and social/ cultural values." Economics shaped the Lowell Mills because the girls needed money for their brother’s education or for their family’s rent and bills. They needed too much as possible for survival. The government shaped the Lowell Mills, because the Mills was changing the government. Social/ Cultural values shaped the Mills because of the roles of women, which many leave home, for independence. This also shapes social and cultural values because of the separate spheres, which for men was supposed to be public and "rough", and a women which was supposed to be private "nurturing".
Boston Public Schools was forced to be desegregated, under judge Garrity’s Phrase I and II. Students from Roxbury were being forced to be bused to Charlestown. Most of the Charlestown’s parents forbade this from happening and most of the Roxbury parents feared for their children lives. The people involved in the forced busing in Boston School Committee, City Council members, Louise Day Hicks, Judge Garrity, angry white parents, angry black parents scared and upset children. Forced busing in Boston happened because of parents in the urban areas were tired of their children not getting the same education as the suburban students. Forced Busing in Boston started in 1974 during the Civil Rights Era in 1954-1975. Forced busing in Boston was between towns and areas such as Roxbury and Charlestown.
During the Forced Busing in Boston there were a lot of social forces related to it such as "government, education, and geography" Government was at work here because the 14th Amendment was present which the "equal protection is under the law". Many of the people who were against the busing had signs starting that we have "equal rights" referring to the 14th Amendment. Geography was also at work here because I don’t think the whole Forced Busing in Boston was about race, it was more on where they (students) live and where they (students) came from. Busing was from Roxbury to Charlestown and Charlestown to Roxbury, mind you Roxbury is considering an urban area, and Charlestown was predominately white which was consider a better education than Roxbury. Education was at work here as were because the whole busing was because the urban parents wanted a better education for their children, so they wanted them to go to the better schools, which was in Charlestown at the time.
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) was a community activism urban renewal and revitalization group. The Dudley community came together in a vision, a struggle and a change and the neighborhood and its resident reclaiming its own power. It was about turning a blighted neighborhood of Boston around through, grassroots, organizing, planning, and activism, the DSNI came together, and it all, John Barros and the whole Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. DSNI came about because people in Boston who lived in Dudley or on Dudley Street were tired of seeing waste all on their streets. They were tired of seeing empty lots filled with nothing but trash, and seeing many people with no jobs and no home. DSNI wanted to make a difference in the way they lived. Seeing drug dealers all in the parks while the kids are they’re playing. Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative came around in the beginning of the 1980-1990 during the period of Urban Renewal in American cities. DSNI was in Roxbury, Ma in Dudley.
DSNI was impacted by a lot of different social forces that help make it what it is now such as "geography, government, and art/ architecture." Geography is a part of DSNI because their main idea was to get their area and their community clean. Government was also a part of DSNI because they were basically their own government; they made their own rules and went through the loop in the system. They also made their own structure of a building for the community, which brings me to Art/ Architecture. They had a plan on how they wanted their community. They had a vision of success and power and they achieved it.
People’s lives are in so many ways variable because there is so many things people expect and don’t expect. The path people take are or can be negative and positive, if people want to live up to what society wants or "the white man" then you can’t be shocked about the way your life ends up. But people also might know or not know that you can always overthrow society and think for yourself. People listen to "society" and think that there not going to make it in life or they are not going anywhere but where society takes them. For example Lowell Mills, those girls lived up to society stating that girls had to work while the men are at school, but they were shocked on how badly they were being treated and how they had to act. That is a negative way people are influenced. The positive way people are influenced is that people can hear, but neither listens, nor follows, but hears, think, and know that this is not what he/she wants for her life and they can change. For example DSNI they could have just let the streets of Dudley be dirty because that is what people were used to. But they listened to all those stereotypes about Dudley and did something about it. They made there own paths.
People state that the United States is one of the wealthiest countries on Earth. It is also known as the land of opportunity. But what people fail to know is America makes a statement of its own. America makes it known if you are not "white" and you are a "minority" the land of opportunity is very slim. With little or no education you can’t go far in the "land of free". But even if you do have an education but you are "black" you are not likely to land that dream job. Most "blacks" are living in poverty because they don’t get a lot nor enough opportunities and/ or resources to prove they are as equal as everyone else mainly "whites". But at times the very ones we look down upon are the very ones who chose to be that way. Some people, who do live in poverty and is colored, choose to live that way. Most people of color say "it’s the white man keeping us down" but you never tried to make a difference. You never tried to get back on your feet whenever you were knocked by "the man" it seems like everyone who isn’t doing right is blaming him. If you think about it the "man" is no one but your own imagination, the "man" is society and it is up to you to say if you’re going to listen to what society wants you to be? Or are you going to tried and fight for what you deserve? Okay if you think the "white man" is keeping you down and you don’t do anything, then it’s you who is keeping yourself down no one but yourself. Not trying to sound naive, but I think most not all but some uses society as an excuse of not having a job, or not being able to fen for oneself.
The 'general story' about education in Boston and in the country is you either have an education and hope that it is "good" in standards to get a well paying job (higher class), you have a education that you can get a job (working class), or you don't have an education and no job except for Burger King (lower class 'poor'). The most important thing to know about education is that the system itself is all-wrong. The system groups students and adults into social classes. There is a upper class who consist of kids who was born with parents with money or went to a suburban school, a middle (working) class who is predominantly black students whose family worked all their lives to make sure their kids get a good education or that made sure their kids was supported, and finally the lower (poor) class who is also predominantly black, is just poor with little or no education, and the only way to go is get one or go down.
The educational system has and always will set up students for failure. This brings me to my next point, of how the educational system groups students by race. A question that has been brought up about the education in Boston is "why is education bias when it comes down to race?" Racism was brought up back in the day with slavery. The funny thing is slavery has ended but racism is getting stronger and it is happening in our schools whether we see it or not. For example, stated in the Challenge Journal written by Robert Rothman they group the students by race when they took their state test. "98% whites" and "82% African Americans" passed their test, but what they don't understand is that the more they collect this data and the way they represented their data to the schools and teachers can be done differently. A major finding about education that also came out of the Challenge Journal was the "achievement gap" between the "white students" and the "minority/ poor students". The achievement gap is basically this trend in education that has been going on for some time now. About five years ago a school that was doing really good with test scores looked deeper into the score to realize that the "white" students was scoring higher than the "minorities", and they realized that "their overall wide performance masked wide differences" the school was the Lanier Middle School in Houston. Finding this information they set out to try and close the "gap" of education. The "achievement gap" is being a concern to rise, because you can see it a lot in Boston public schools. You can see the white students having a better educational experience than the black "minority" students. Another problem that is connected to the "achievement gap" is the facts of unqualified teachers are the ones teaching the "minority" students. In the Challenge Journal, Robert Rothman said, "perhaps the most important resource is the quality of the teaching force." Which is a good concept to think about, because yes the students should take responsibility of what their education is, but how can they? How can they do it when they have teachers who are not qualified? "High school students in high-poverty schools are more than twice likely to be taught by a teachers lacking certification in his/her field" stated in the Challenge Journal.