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What these men behind a historic photo taken 47 years ago say about race in Boston then and now

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WCVB, July 2023

The two men who were part of a single historic photograph that captured the essence of racial tension in Boston in 1976 are reflecting on how far the city has come and how far it has to go in order to achieve racial justice. Ted Landsmark and Stanley Forman met up with WCVB’s Brittany Johnson at Boston’s City Hall Plaza, where the incident took place.

As Landsmark walked across the plaza, he reflected back to the day a group of protestors attacked him. Landsmark was kicked, hit in the face, and suffered a broken nose. One of the protesters swung the American flag in his direction to use it as a weapon. “Ironically, on the day when the assault took place, I was on my way to a meeting in City Hall to discuss how the city could open up more job opportunities to contractors of color and to workers of color in the city,” Landsmark, who was a young lawyer at the time of the attack, told Johnson.

“I had no expectation that I would encounter a crowd of anti-busing demonstrators,” he said. “My mind was fixed on creating opportunities and jobs for young people in the city.” During this time period, Boston was fraught with discrimination and uproar over court-ordered school desegregation.

Read more at WCVB.

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