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Confronting Racial Injustice Series: The Charles Stuart Story: White Lies and Black Lives (Free Massachusetts Historical Society Event)


June 9, 2021 6:00 pm

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean, Boston University School of Law; Hon. Leslie Harris (ret.), Suffolk Juvenile Court; Renée Graham, Columnist, The Boston Globe; moderated by Kim McLaurin, Associate Dean, Suffolk University Law School

Charles Stuart, a white man, murdered his wife and unborn child in Boston in 1989 and falsely blamed the attack on a nonexistent Black man. Believing Stuart’s lie, the police engaged in a massive manhunt that terrorized a Black community in Mission Hill with detention, public strip-searches, and the arrest of two innocent men. As some lawmakers demanded the death penalty, the media perpetuated this false story. The Stuart case exemplifies how the narrative of white supremacy continues to lead to the dehumanization and devaluation of Black lives. Widespread acceptance of white lies over Black lives persists today.


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