The civil rights movement is often taught as a Southern phenomenon. Yet, the struggle for racial justice occurred all over the country, especially in Northern cities. On the heels of the civil rights movement and in contrast to forced busing, METCO was an educational experiment initially conceived by a few “ do-gooders” who sought advancement in education as an offshoot to fair housing & access to better employment.
This film highlights one of the longest running voluntary school desegregation programs in the country, its’ historical impact on the city of Boston and those personally involved in the program itself. On The Line takes a fresh examination of the impact of busing for school integration, the historical and social conditions that launched the METCO program, and the participants who continue to assess the benefits and hardships of crossing racial and class lines on their way to school. The long-term effects for all parties involved are not often adequately studied. Rather, short-term academic and college achievement statistics are emphasized.
The METCO experience is an introduction to a more complex world and On The Line opens the discussion for further insight.