Ted Landsmark in WCVB: Project CommUNITY: Brief history of race, racism in Massachusetts
by Antoinette Antonio, WCVB
The history of Black people in Massachusetts dates back to at least 1638 when documents show the first slaves were brought on a ship to Boston from the West Indies.
In fact, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first of the colonies to legalize slavery in 1641. That’s just part of the long, at times contentious history, of racism in the United States.
For the purposes of this article, however, let’s start with one of the most contentious periods in Boston’s recent history: The 1970s, when the city began to bus Black children white neighborhoods in an effort to integrate schools.