In part one of the 4-hour TV movie Common Ground (see separate entry for details), the city of Boston embarks upon its 1974 school busing program. Instead of bringing unity and harmony, the buses have brought dissension, divisiveness, and some of the ugliest overt bigotry since the 1950s. The impact of Boston's well-meaning integration program has its most profound impact upon black and white Charleston High schoolmates Cassandra (Erika Alexander) and Lisa (Georgia Emelin). They can see most clearly what the adults are doing wrong-but no one listens. Also starring in Common Ground are Jane Alexander, CCH Pounder, Richard Thomas, and, as beleagured Boston mayor Kevin White, James Farentino. The film strives to be fair to both sides, pointing out the racist behavior of both white and black extremists. For the most part, this impartiality works; what doesn't work are the thick, irritating Bostonian accents adopted by some of the actors. Adapted from the fact-based, Pulitzer Prize-winning book by J. Anthony Lucas, Part Two of Common Ground was first telecast March 27, 1990.
by Hal Erickson synopsis