Boston’s Black History: Ayanna Pressley
Ayanna Pressley is a true trailblazer. Inspired by the likes of Shirley Chisolm, the community advocate broke a barrier that stood for over a century, becoming the first black woman to serve on Boston's City Council. Shocking the system again, she pulled an upset in the 2018 Democratic primary, securing her place as the first black congresswoman from Massachusetts, and a spotlight in black history.

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Boston’s Black History: Liz WalkerLiz Walker broke barriers by becoming Boston's first black primary TV news anchor, right here on WBZ. But her achievements reach far beyond that. As a journalist, her 30-plus year career in Boston took her around the globe and garnered numerous awards. As a humanitarian she has worked with the United Nations on behalf of people from Sudan to Dorchester. Now as a reverend, she leads the Roxbury Presbyterian Church, a faith community with a 130-year legacy of making a difference in Boston.
Boston’s Black History: Willie O’ReeWillie O'Ree broke the color barrier - on ice skates. In 1958, the Boston Bruins winger became the first black player in the National Hockey League. O'Ree played alone in that regard until 1974. Today the league has dozens of black players and O'Ree’s legacy has been solidified with his induction into the NHL Hall of Fame in 2018.
Boston’s Black History: Malcolm XYears before he became Malcolm X, Malcom Little was a troubled teenager living in Roxbury. It was while serving time at the old prison in Charlestown that Malcolm's world view changed, reading the likes of Ghandi and W.E.B. Du Bois. It is also where he would first wear his signature glasses. Malcolm’s reading then led him to the nation of Islam and a new path as a thought leader and passionate fighter for black liberation.
Boston’s Black History: Paula JohnsonDr. Paula Johnson is a cardiologist, educator, and respected leader, known for her passion when it comes to improving the lives of women. Her commitment and leadership was recognized by the historic Wellesley College, which named Johnson their first black female president in 2016.
Boston’s Black History: Charlie AustinKnown for his golden voice, WBZ’s own Charlie Austin is a trailblazer, becoming one of the first African Americans on Boston television. Austin worked at WBZ from 1968-2000. He covered it all, including the famine crisis in Sudan and Ethiopia. Austin died in 2018, leaving behind a wife and three daughters, and a lasting legacy.
Boston’s Black History: Crispus AttucksBorn in Framingham in 1723, Crispus Attucks is widely known as the first person killed in the Revolutionary War. Attucks died in the Boston Massacre in 1770, after fights erupted between Bostonians and British soldiers. His final resting place is the Granary Burial Ground in Boston. There is also a monument honoring Attucks on Boston Common.

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