GBH Openvault

Boston School Committee Report On Sit-ins

Part of From the Vault.


In June 1963 the Education Committee of the Boston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) presented the Boston School Committee with a 14-Point Proposal to end de facto segregation in the public schools. The contentious and failed negotiations precipitated a series of nonviolent, direct action demonstrations in Boston, including the Stay Out for Freedom Day on June 18, 1963 in which 3,000 stayed away from the Boston Public Schools and attended Freedom Schools organized by the Citizens for Human Rights organization. Various civil rights groups picketed outside the Boston School Committee Headquarters at 15 Beacon Street during the summer. Later, the School Committee conceded to meet with the NAACP on August 13, 1963 only to summarily end the meeting when Ruth Batson, Chair of the Education Committee, mentioned the term, “de facto segregation.” On Thursday, September 5, 1963, the NAACP stepped up the nonviolent direct action protests by organizing a Sit-In at the School Committee Headquarters. In the “Boston School Committee Report on Sit-Ins,” WGBH interviews Thomas Atkins, Executive Secretary of the Boston Branch of the NAACP who explains the grievances and events leading up to the Sit-In demonstration. The program also includes comments by Louise Day Hicks, Chair of the Boston School Committee, about the failed negotiations and NAACP Sit-In. In addition, “Boston School Committee Report on Sit-Ins” program provides extensive excerpts of the regular meeting of the Boston School Committee held on Friday September 6, 1963 in which the committee members voted to have the police remove the NAACP Sit-In demonstrators who were still protesting elsewhere in the building. [Note: Later in the evening all persons were evacuated from the building due to an alleged bomb scare.] The segment ends with Kenneth Guscott, President of the Boston Branch of the NAACP, providing an official response to the School Committee’s actions. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Audrea Dunham.

License Clip
Boston School Committee Report On Sit-ins
Program Description




Asset Type

Raw audio

Media Type


African Americans-Educational Opportunities
Race Relations-Racial Imbalance
Race Relations-Northern Discrimination
Race Relations-De facto Segregation
Race Relations-Boston School Committee Negotiations
African Americans-Structural Racism
Stay Out for Freedom Day
Boston School Committee
African Americans-Civil Rights
Freedom Schools
African Americans-Social Justice
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Boston, Massachusetts
Roxbury, Massachusetts
Civil Rights Era
African Americans-Human Rights
Winter, Edward J. (Speaker)
Eisenstadt, Thomas (Speaker)
Mascott, Ted (Producer)
Guscott, Kenneth (Speaker)
Atkins, Thomas (Speaker)
Lee, Joseph (Speaker)
O’Connor, William (Speaker)
Gartland, Arthur (Speaker)
Hicks, Louise Day (Speaker)
Chicago: “Boston School Committee Report On Sit-ins,” 09/06/1963, GBH Archives, accessed June 14, 2024,
MLA: “Boston School Committee Report On Sit-ins.” 09/06/1963. GBH Archives. Web. June 14, 2024. <>.
APA: Boston School Committee Report On Sit-ins. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.