The Soiling of Old Glory: In Conversation at Suffolk University


“The moment to make a transformative statement — verbal, visual, or gestural — can arise at any time. When it does, we must be ready with words from the heart or actions that heal, or inspire, or inform where a sense of personal risk might otherwise engender silence.”

Ted Landsmark

In The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph That Shocked America, re-issued this April by Brandeis University Press, historian Louis Masur tells the story behind this historic image, delving into the history of Boston’s efforts to desegregate its schools and the enduring legacy of this infamous moment, frozen on film, that continues to shape our understanding of history, equity, and media in Boston and beyond.

Professor, activist, and attorney Ted Landsmark’s foreword to the second edition of The Soiling of Old Glory was featured in Boston Globe Magazine. In it, he reflects on the legacy of the anti-integration protests that shook Boston in the 1970s and the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph that has become synonymous with this period in time, in which a white anti-integration protestor aims an American flag like a sword at Landsmark’s chest.

On April 11th, Louis Masur, Ted Landsmark, and photographer Stanley Forman will come together at Suffolk University to discuss the protests, the photograph, and the book they inspired. RSVP here and read on for more information about the event.