'Beyond Black & White.' Roosevelt High alumni explore the legacy of Seattle's busing program
In the early 1960s, Seattle Public Schools launched the "voluntary racial transfer program."
It was a plan to bus students to different neighborhoods to better integrate high schools. But the early effort left a large number of Seattle schools with big racial imbalances.
So in 1977, the school board adopted "The Seattle Plan" — which was no longer voluntary — busing thousands of mostly Black students to schools in white neighborhoods.
The ripple effects of these integration efforts still permeate through Seattle Public Schools — including at Roosevelt High School.
A new documentary features voices of students, past and present, reflecting on the legacy of busing and racism in the halls of Roosevelt High School and the district at-large.
It's called "Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black & White." Tony Allison and Joe Hunter Jr. are co-chairs of RARE: Roosevelt Alumni for Racial Equity, the group behind the documentary.
Allison and Hunter Jr. joined Soundside Libby Denkmann to discuss how the murder of George Floyd launched a turning point in alumni's reflections of how race was (or wasn't) discussed at their alma matter. They were joined by 2021 Roosevelt High graduate Leah Scott.