In 1989, a frantic 911 call ignited a racial firestorm in Boston – but what if everything you thought you knew about the case was a lie? 

On Wednesday May 8th, 2024, community members gathered at the MIT Welcome Center for a screening of the first episode of HBO’s Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage, and Reckoning, and  a discussion with former Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson about Boston’s racial dynamics in the late 1980’s, how they have evolved and what strides still need to be made.

Long before his successful political career and fervent advocacy work, Jackson, a Black man,  was a teenager living in Roxbury in the 1980’s. Having been at the heart of the tumultuous landscape depicted in the documentary, and an interviewee in the series, he brought invaluable insight to this conversation. 

In his opening statement, Jackson shared that it is essential for complex subject matters to be tackled together, collaboratively regardless of race or other demographics. He stressed the importance of “starting with grace”, and leading with patience and understanding as we work together.  “Grace is given freely without expecting something in return” he stated.  

HBO’s “Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage and Reckoning” dives into the tragic 1989 case of Carol Stuart’s murder. The series goes beyond the crime, exploring Boston’s history of racial tension starting with busing in the 1970’s. As the investigation unfolds, shocking truths emerge, exposing the damage done by racism and missteps in the justice system.

Much has evolved since the events of the series. In December of 2023, Mayor Wu presented  a formal apology to the Black men wrongfully accused of Carol Stuart’s murder. This unprecedented act is a testament to the strides this city has taken towards equality, but there is still much work to be done. 

Join us for another film event later this fall. Thank you to our host, MIT, and to Draper, Ipsen, and the City of Cambridge for making this series possible.