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A Half-Century After Boston’s Busing Crisis, A Look Back At A Colorblind Friendship Amid Racial Tensions in ‘Neighborhood Lines’

A Half-Century After Boston’s Busing Crisis, A Look Back At A Colorblind Friendship Amid Racial Tensions in ‘Neighborhood Lines’

Boston, Massachusetts – Profoundly moving, fearless and inspiring, Michael Patrick Murphy's novel "Neighborhood Lines" shines a light on a friendship between two individuals caught up in the effort to desegregate Boston schools in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Nakedly honest and grippingly dramatic, this is the story of the bonds formed by Patrick and Nate, two students from dramatically different Boston neighborhoods. Patrick is white, Irish-Catholic and from South Boston. Nate is an African-American star athlete from the black section of Boston. Both meet in the classrooms of Boston's Cathedral High School and, against all odds, forge a friendship that is lasting and true. The story is a testament to the power of love and solidarity despite the fear and hatred of racial discrimination.

"It's essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand how Boston's busing crisis both created even more hatred and dissent, and at the same time, helped countless individuals form friendships and bonds that were previously unimaginable." -John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press

Author Michael Patrick Murphy takes the reader on a tough journey into the fiery furnace of Boston's court-ordered efforts to integrate and improve the quality of education by busing black students to white schools and white students to black schools. The story of the friendship between Nate and Patrick in "Neighborhood Lines" reveals the intense pressure and difficult decisions brought about by neighborhood friendships and alliances. When violence claims the life of one of Patrick's friends, that pressure is intensified, and battle lines are drawn even more clearly. The novel tells the story of how trust and faith is severely tested between two young men from distinctly different backgrounds.

"Neighborhood Lines" was inspired by true stories of the rigors and realities of "forced busing" in Boston. These stories were told to Michael Patrick Murphy by his grandmother, as well as his great-grandfather, Michael Mahoney, who served on the Boston City Council. Despite the fact that a federal judge ordered school desegregation in Boston a half century ago, the stories of racial conflict and tension are as fresh as the headlines from this morning's newspapers.

"I published this novel," says the author, "with the intent to target high schools and educational institutions across the country to plant a seed of equality and social justice in the minds of the youth so they could change the future."

While "Neighborhood Lines" depicts many of the ugly realities of life in a racially divisive Boston, it is ultimately an uplifting tale of the power of loyalty and friendship. The story it tells will both inform young people who did not live through Boston's busing crisis and give new perspective to those who did. It is essential reading for anyone interested in racial matters.

"Michael Patrick Murphy has treated his readers to a fascinating insider's glimpse of Boston during his formative years. Reading this brings home the fact that it is the decisions we make when we are young which can shape our futures for better or worse." -Susan Keefe, Midwest Book Review, 5 Stars

"Writing of this quality is usually found only with experienced authors, but Michael Patrick Murphy's fluid prose captures not only a fine story, but also a philosophical guide for all of us to embrace." -Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Hall of Fame reviewer

About Michael Patrick Murphy - Michael Patrick Murphy was born south of Boston and comes from a family with strong native ties to South Boston. He spent ten years getting an education on Morrissey Boulevard -- his high school and college years lived out in and around the areas of Dorchester, South Boston, and Boston. Inspired by stories his grandmother told him of the city's history, and of his great-grandfather, Boston City Councillor Michael Mahoney, Murphy originally wrote Neighborhood Lines while in college. This timely heartfelt novel captures the unique atmosphere of the late 1980s and early 1990s in Boston, when the aftershocks of court-ordered busing to public schools lingered on, integration of the all-white housing projects had begun, and the murder rate had reached record-breaking figures.

Murphy's hope in writing the novel is that it be used as a tool to open dialogue about race, class and the common ground that can be achieved by working together to solve conflicts. Murphy owns a Union Electrical / Security /IT /Audio visual company in downtown Boston with 160 Union employees. He also owns a health and wellness business called @zendengroup  www.Zendenmedical.com

Murphy is writing the second book on the journey of the Neighborhood Lines two main characters Patrick and Nate. Murphy has lived in the Boston area his entire life with his wife and two children.

NEIGHBORHOOD LINES ISBN 978-1-54393-786-2  BookBaby, 2020. Paperback $17.95, Kindle, $9.99, 192 pages. Available on Amazon. For more information, visit: www.neighborhoodlines.com.

Media Contact: For a review copy of Neighborhood Lines or to arrange an interview with Michael Patrick Murphy, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Book Marketing  at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on twitter @abookpublicist

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Scott Lorenz
Group: Westwind Communications
Dateline: Plymouth, MI United States
Direct Phone: 734-667-2098
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