1970s boston

Throw Back Thursday to when the Boston Mayor’s office thought The Bald Headed Men of America Convention would be “tremendous” publicity for the City of Boston.

We’re not sure what Mayor White thought about this idea, but we don’t have records that indicate that the convention actually came to Boston.

Mayor’s Office Departmental Communication  from Paula Lyons to Dana, 1975 January 14, Box 19, Folder 42, Mayor Kevin White records, Collection 0245.001, Boston City Archives

A brief glance at the cartoon version of America makes you think the South is pretty racist. Look at them, with their Confederate flags and voter ID laws! But while you were sleeping, the blue states were up to some pretty racist shit too. It’s just that they’ve got better PR.

For example, one of the biggest and most violent anti-segregation fights in US history didn’t take place in 1950s Mississippi or Alabama, but 1970s Boston. The 70s! In Massachusetts! The land of Kennedys, Afflecks and liberal arts colleges was faced with the desegregation of schools and was like, “yo George Wallace, hold my beer!”

THIS WEEK: To discuss some of the secretly f#&*ed up modern history of the United States, Jack O'Brien and Michael Swaim are joined by the guys from ’The Dollop’: Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. They discuss the Boston busing riots of the 70s, the comically-liberal blue state with secret ties to the KKK and why we’re about to live through the Enron crisis all over again.

The Shockingly Recent Race Riot You’ve Never Heard Of

USA. Massachusetts. Boston. 1970. A boy affiliated to the Black Panthers Party posing with a gun. The Black Panthers believed in armed self-defence and had adopted a militaristic style. The group had notably developed as a response to police brutality, amongst other reasons.

Photograph: Stephen Shames/Courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery


April 5, 1976. Boston. The Soiling of Old Glory. Stanley Forman. 

The shit that isn’t revealed in history books or books in general when it comes to post-Civil Rights (1970s onward). Sadly enough, this incident took place during a rather tense period in America where there was an upheaval over school busing and desegregation. Simply put, there was a time when white school administrations didn’t want black children bused to white schools as well as attending predominantly white schools. This incident (shown here in photographs) became the focal symbol of the frustrations and violent tensions that defined not only Boston when it came to forced desegregated school busing, but many other cities in America. Just a fucking way to keep the system unbalanced for blacks in America. These photographs, brilliantly shot by famous photojournalist, Stanley Forman, showcase the irony and hypocrisy behind just how fucked up America had become and how the system tries to suppress the mobilization and integrity of black people. Shown here is an accomplished black lawyer, minding his own business and unfairly becoming a target, among the tense protest demonstration over anti-busing. Mind you, this was the mid-1970’s. It’s hard to stomach the violent attacks that this black lawyer suffered from the hands of white supremacists, however, this is a chapter in post-Civil Rights Movement and the black experience that shouldn’t go unnoticed. This deserves reblogs. 

More information about the famous photo: 

Stanley Forman was early for his shift at the Herald American on April 5th, 1976 and he decided to head out to an anti-busing demonstration at Boston City Hall that another journalist was already covering. It was already two years into a desegregated school-busing in Massachusetts, but the protests in favor of the old system were still raging.

Forman managed to capture an episode that was especially violent: a black attorney named Theodore Landsmark — a Yale graduate who worked for Michael Dukakis no less — was attacked by a group of white teenagers as he exited the city hall. One of the attackers, Joseph Rakes, charged towards Landsmark using the American flag and its flagpole as a lance.

Side By Side/What Would We Do Without You
Side By Side/What Would We Do Without You

Dean Jones, who originated the role of Bobby in Company, passed away today at the age of 84. In his memory, here’s a recording of him singing “Side by Side/What Would We Do Without You” with the rest of the cast during the show’s tryout in Boston. At this point, the song came between “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “Happily Ever After” toward the end of the show.