Eagle-Tribune, June 2023
Stanley Forman admits he was in no hurry to get to the assignment that would turn out to be the biggest of his life. On April 5, 1976, Forman was a photographer for the Boston Herald American when he was sent to City Hall Plaza to cover an anti-busing demonstration, one of several racially charged protests that were being held in those days over school desegregation. “To me, it was just another demonstration,” he said. “I did an errand on the way. I was late.”
Forman might’ve been late, but as was so often the case in his long career as a news photographer, he didn’t miss the shot. His photo of a white teenager using an American flag to attack a Black man would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize and become a symbol of the racial tensions that roiled Boston during the school busing controversy.
Nearly 50 years later, Forman’s iconic image is still resonating. This Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning is scheduled to air a segment about the photo in advance of Flag Day, which is June 14. Forman has also recently been interviewed as part of two upcoming documentaries. “Forty-seven years later I’m still being talked to about this image,” said Forman, who is 77 and lives in Beverly. “Forty-seven years!”
The segment by CBS Sunday Morning was done by Faith Salie, an Emmy Award-winning contributor to the show who also happens to be the granddaughter of Al Salie, the assistant city editor at the Herald American who assigned Forman to that fateful demonstration. Faith Salie came to Boston to interview Forman and Ted Landsmark, the man who was assaulted. Landsmark, who was a young lawyer at the time, is a professor at Northeastern University and a civil rights advocate.