Africans recently lead all immigrants in number and volume of coming to live in Massachusetts and Boston. Somalians, Nigerians and Kenyans were coming. After all, the first blacks arrived in Boston in the early 1600s and have been here ever since. Africans became African Americans after slavery ended. The Boston African-American population played important roles in freeing the slaves and have long held a Boston presence, although they have always been a minority of the population. Over the years, political and social forces grouped ethnic groups into living cluster. So neighborhoods are mostly segregated. Whites live among whites, latinos among latinos, Asians in Chinatown, Blacks among Blacks and so on, so forth, The Chinese investor buys more hi-rise luxury condos than any other ethnic group. Whites buy boats. Blacks have public cultural parades attended by 500,000 people.
A recent Federal Reserve report found that the average net worth of a black Bostonian household compared to a white household is about $214.00 to $150,000 on average. The number suggest that the situation is tragic. But for a majority of Blacks, life is good in Boston. Those with a college education are employed and likely to be far along on their career tracks. Baby-boomers and older blacks worked for the government and other stable institutions that had a tradition of guaranteeing employment for many years. Blacks who are financially hurting the worse are like any other racial category of people that hasn’t found their path to self-sustainability without reliance on government subsidies. This author has an opinion that the racist Boston has largely ceased to exist as a culture. There remains isolated racism in how people deal in politics, housing, health and financing, but because corporate Boston leans heavily towards diversification, there is enough positive force in the culture to balance it out.
\You will notice more blacks walking around town than ever before. Mixed couples are everywhere. Blacks in powerful civic, social and political positions are visible, yet I would argue that blacks in Boston don’t own very much and that’s a big problem, especially in Black Boston. By ownership, I’m talking about companies that employ hundreds in the workforce or properties worth hundreds of millions of dollars that is owned by black people. There is simply too little if any of that here. If you compare what Asians and other ethinc groups own in the city to what Blacks own, you’ll see the distant divide
The city’s white power structure still exists, no doubt. It is not unusual to attend events and meetings where you may be the only black in the room.
But you will have no problem finding a cohort of black people to live, work and party with in Boston that are just like you. If you want to hang out with just HBCU college grads, they’re here. When you want to ski with Black skiers, they are here. If you are an accountant, an engineer, a black social worker, a government employee, an educator and you want to be with these black people, they are here ready to network with you
Charlestown, South Boston, the North End, the Downtown area and the Charles Street Beacon Hill district are the whitest populated residential regions of the city. Black Boston is an area where a dominant number of blacks live and have lived for years.
If a person has recently moved to Boston they will most likely not seek to live in Roxbury, due to its misaligned reputation for crime and poverty. Roxbury, like any other geography closest urban city downtown areas, is gentrifying. This cycle begin 3 years ago and it has intensified of late. It means that blacks whose families have lived here for hears are being forced out due to home costs or are cashing out their real estate, pocketing a winfall, and heading outside the city.
This has Whites are moving to Black Boston streets they would have never considered livng on before. The money is talking. And there is a firewall that even gentrification can’t burnt down. Areas of black Roxbury and Dorchester have tracts of income-restricted housing and land deeded to land trusts to keep properties affordable. Large numbers of subsidized rental housing also exist in Roxbury and Dorchester, perhaps more units like them are here than in any other part of the city.
Black Boston has been defined by four zip codes which are 02120,02121, 02119, 02126 representing the Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan community.
There is a reliable African American owned print newspaper named the Boston Banner and the weekly newspaper the Dorchester Reporter and Haitian Reporter cover black issues, as do media outlets like the PBS network TV show named Basic Black and a number of Black owned web sites and radio station programs.