Boston's tattoo scene: a family dynasty, a 38-year ban and questionable popular images

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This is the Aug. 26 rundown for Radio Boston. Tiziana Dearing is our host:

  • As the Suffolk County district attorney's primary race turns thunderous, we dive beneath the headlines on one of the biggest stories of the week.
  • Tattoos are pretty mainstream these days, but Massachusetts banned the practice for 38 years, until the ban was found to be unconstitutional in 2000. One of the last tattoo artists working in Boston before the ban was Harold "Lefty" Liberty, part of the Liberty family tattoo dynasty that spanned the early days of sideshow tattooing all the way to urban renewal and the destruction of Boston's Scollay Square. We hear their story, including ways their work appropriated imagery that was sometimes racist and sexist. Then, local tattoo artist Damon Butler shares how tattoo culture is dealing with sometimes uncomfortable imagery today.
  • The weekend is here! WBUR's senior arts and culture reporter Cristela Guerra shares the details of events happening in and around Boston this weekend. We'll cover festivals celebrating Asian films, African culture and more.

This article was originally published on August 26, 2022.

This program aired on August 26, 2022.


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