8000 Marchers in Roxbury Protest Segregation in City's Public Schools

More than 8000 Negroes and whites marched through Roxbury Sunday and gathered, to protest de facto segregation in Boston's public schools, in front of a school built five years after the end of the Civil War.

The marchers included 100 students from Harvard and Radcliffe, most of them members of the Civil Rights Coordinating Committee here.

Starting from two assembly areas, the marchers streamed down Columbus Ave. and Tremont St. and up Walnut Ave. to the Sherwin School, 70 Windsor St. They stopped at several churches along the way to pick up congregations which had agreed to join the march at the close of their morning worship.

At one point, the river of placards formed by the first group of marchers filled Tremont St. for almost the entire six-block distance to the Sherwin School. At the school they were met by an equally large throng which had proceeded from the south up Walnut Ave.

Epps Leads March


Archie Epps 2G and Thomas I. Atkins, a Harvard graduate student on leave to work as executive secretary of the Boston chapter of the NAACP, led the march.

Epps also organized the Boston delegation for the Aug. 28 Washington march.

The marchers gathered before the Sherwin School as a light drizzle began to fall.

The three-story red brick structure is the only building in the area which has yet to be condemned or razed. It is surrounded by a field of tall weeds, shells of partially demolished buildings, and a run-down playground.

The school had been chosen as a meeting place for the rally because it is the most obvious example, according to the march's leaders, of "separate and un-equal" facilities in the Boston school system.

The school has an enrollment of 316 Negroes and one white boy.

Sponsored by NAACP

The "March on Roxbury," sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was planned as a demonstration of support for the NAACP in its fight against the Boston School Committee.

Although the Committee has accepted 12 of the 14 proposals the NAACP made in July, it has refused to consider or recognize the existence of do facto segregation in the city's school system. It has also questioned the NAACP's voice in speaking for the Negro.

Yesterday, Epps told the crowd that "no one can say any longer that the NAACP is without support."