A new book published by Oxford University Press positions Blacks in Boston (and our webmaster) with the forebearers of today's #BlackTwitter #BlackLivesMatter movement, while providing a historical look at the challenges of diversity and inclusion in computing industries. Look Inside
You'll find it in the Boston Public Library catalog, on Amazon, the New York Public library system and where books are sold.
The city is growing
There were 3,733 new housing units were built in Boston in 2018 as part of Mayor Walsh’s Housing plan to build 69,000 new housing units by 2030, 16,000 of which would be income-restricted. Education: Boston has so far maintained steady growth in overall enrollment.
Total college and university enrollment in Boston rose by 13,340 (eight percent) between 2009 and 2017, with undergraduate enrollment increasing by 3,538 (three percent) and graduate enrollment increasing by 10,554 (twenty percent).
Forecasts: Short-term national and regional forecasts suggest strong economic growth will continue for the city. However, there is some uncertainty surrounding the tight labor market and low unemployment levels. Continued job growth will depend on the ability of the region’s housing market to accommodate new population. source:The Mayor's office
The NAACP will hold its national convention in Boston
10,000 or more will visit the NAACP 111th National Convention next year when NAACP members arrive for a week of meetings and activities. The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
The Boston NAACP branch held a historic 100th year observation of it's Niagara Movement roots. Meetings held in Boston 100 years ago helped create the NAACP organization. Download a keepsake copy of the program book from the 2007 centennial celebration held at Faneuil Hall.
Black Construction Businesses Drive Black Boston's Wealth Creation
Black Tech has yet to make any kind of dent in the wealth creation pastures of Black Boston. Roxbury holds down the center of African American culture in New England and the Dudley Square Nubian Square Block is a busy intersection of transit, construction development and public education policy management. Black builders have arrived and they are winning!
Cruz Companies will build affordable housing in Dudley Nubian Square
The proposed project in the video has resulted in a $100 million dollar deal. Sixty percent of the budget is designated for competitive Black-owned companies and minority developers who construct buildings.
The CRUZ Companies win is a WIN WN for residents as well. A plan for creating two buildings with 150 housing units was selected. According to the BayState Banner newspaper report, 50 units of rental housing is priced at 30 to 50 percent of Area Median Income. In today's dollars a family of three would need to make $30,600 to $51,000 for rent rate eligibility.
Another 100 condo units will be sold. Fifty condos are priced at 70 and 80 percent AMI levels. A family of three would pay $217,000 to $257,000 in today's dollars to own a condo at the property. 50 housing units will be sold at market rate prices where the sky is the limit.
270 parking spaces are planned for the property. Black Boston gentrification has been a tornado wiping out Black and brown people who have been there for years. The rent is too damn high in Boston. Kudos to the City of Boston and to BECMA, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts for working in equity participation practices. Look here to view the Boston Affordable Housing Income Limit Charts.
Dudley Square Business Owners meet in Strategy Sessions
It has been recorded to video. Black business owners are having a hard time making ends meet in the heart of Roxbury, a center of African American culture. Listen and watch the conversation.
Research Study: African American Parents earn $25 to answer questions.
Parents must identify as African-American (Black American) and have a child between the ages of 4 and 12.
Research study groups are recruiting Black people and offering compensation for your time.
Researchers in Boston's medical and social science communities are inviting African Americans and Blacks to participate with
current research projects. Volunteers we recruit are compensated for their time. National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research lacks Black participation and Black researchers lack the funding they need Therefore, outcomes will continue to lack perfection for Blacks, until more Blacks are involved as primary researchers or become volunteer participants in the funded research.
Black-owned Boston Architect and Construction Firms Score Big Wins. Black Boston Community GDP exceeds the $2B level
It was a good year for black-owned architecture and construction industry firms in 2018. Now, the trend continues in 2019 as recent parcel developments have been awarded by the City of Boston. This is a good deal for trade skilled electricians, cleaners, plumbers, brick masons and greenspace makers. The share-the-wealth plan is starting to materialize in Boston as a small group of black-owned firms have been winning big deals.
Remember 2011, when the Black Boston Community GDP was $2B. That will be surpassed by 2020, no doubt!
Black Boston scores political wins
The Black Political Revolution has been Televised and Boston's black political community took a bow for the successful election of Ayanna Pressley to Congress for District Seven that hovers over Harvard University, The Museum of Fine Arts, MIT, Northeastern Unversiity, Berklee College of Music, Cambridge, Somerville, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Randolph and very interesting parts of Boston.
Rachael Rollins is the new District Attorney-elect for Black Boston and Suffolk County.
Ayanna Pressley, Rachael Rollins
Both women are experienced African American professionals who know their way, but they have been blessed by invisible forces active in Greater Boston's Black Twitter, Black Facebook, Black Instagram & Black produced Social Media channels surrounding them, but they may not know that. This explains why. When media analysts credit demographic trends that show more and more people of color in the voting population, they miss the native breeze powering Blacks to electoral wins because it is silent and electronic. This whispering impact can be traced to the problem Blacks in Boston solved for themselves when they were feeling isolated while living and working here. They solved a collective personal problem while Boston power brokers ignored them.
The Only One in the Room Syndrome Got Fixed
Five years ago, many Black Urban Professionals would burn out of Boston because of isolation from their people. "There is nowhere for blacks to go and be around blacks" they would tell this web site feedback form, but this is not the case today. Black people have fixed their isolation problem in Boston. By fixing this problem, black politicians who can make you believe they are "the one," have been benefiting with votes and cash contributions from Blacks who now feel better about their surroundings. You don't credit demographic trends for this. You credit the problem solving work of Black Boston Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, What's App and other messenging apps and Web Sites and Blogs catering to Black readers in Greater Boston, for they have long been the glue that directed Blacks to each other who didn't know each other.
Now it is easier for blacks to organize blacks than it ever was. Blogging software, Eventbrite and Facebook apps, combined with e-mail lists distribute the messages in a highly targeted fashion. Sustainable black organizations have formed and they are doing group events and activities on a regular basis. Each one has a unique purpose for being. Collectively, the groups exist for one goal and that is to fix the "isolated-while-Black-in-Boston" problem Black individuals had been feeling.
This problem still persist among black students at private universities such as Northeastern, Boston University, Harvard and others, since the BBSN - Boston Black Student Network failed, but the problem has been largely beem solved for Black urban professionals, artists, creatives and other workers of color. If you are new to the city, you may feel it but not for long, once you start looking around at activities we post and see what other blacks are doing. Black groups organize events for themselves. Of course, everyone is invited and a few whites will attend but these physical Black meetups are mostly a Black thang. So no more excuses about "I am Black in Boston with nowhere to go and nothing to do around people who look like me" Black people! You have choices now you have always wanted.
And that is why Black politicians are winning. On average, Black group meetups collect 30 to 100 people in person at a single event. That's enough to TAKE OVER the average size bar / restaurant / movie screening room, and it happens frequently. Black politicians are rarely invited to appear in a political role at them yet they benefit beause the events create an environment for people to think about what they gonna do about x, y, and z and agree to do it in solidarity.
Boston Police Matters
The Boston police department is being lead by an African American for the first time since the city was chartered in 1630. William Gross, an African American, took charge in August 2018. Black Boston's community is hoping for better police protection, fewer unsolved crimes, better community relations with police department, more diversity on the police force, and more. In the Roxbury community, the intellectual and historical center of African American culture in Boston, it would be a great thing when citizens feel better about the Boston police department.
Slave memorials in Boston news
The Olde North Church history story has been opened to add new findings about the role its early builders and financiers had in the slave trade.
Historic Faneuil Hall, a magnet for Boston tourists, has become the target of a boycott lead by the New Democracy Coalition, a non-partisan group of community organizations and clergy who have lobbied to have the name Faneuil replaced with Crispus Attucks, because Mr. Faneuil traded in slave cargo, while the mayor supports keeping the name intact while erecting a million dollar slave memorial that would resemble a slave auction block designed by a Mass College of Art professor. The NDC wants people to refuse to spend money there until the name changes. This year the Boston Red Sox changed the name of Yawkey Way at Fenway Park to Jersey Street out of similar concerns.
Click to take a quick video tour of an Underground Railroad pathway used by Blacks escaping slave catchers on Beacon Hill in Early Boston. Still functioning today, you will travel to the entrance of MAAH.ORG - the Massachusetts African American History Museum on Beacon Hill.
Heroes of the Past
Today, BostThe first African American Governor of Massachusetts was elected in 2006. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and President Barack Obama attended Boston area universities.
There won't be an Elmer Lewis Partners P-3 Tremont Crossing develpment. The plan was cancelled effective Oct 2019 due to lack of financing.
Where the Blacks Are in Boston
Beacon Hill Blacks left the hill when it became overcrowded with immigrants. Some say whites forced the blacks off of Beacon Hill. When touring the Black Heritage Walking Trail we learned about the flood of immigrants from Europe who settled in Beacon Hill. As the population grew from 600 Black households to over 2,000 new arrivals, Blacks felt overcrowded and moved. At the time, Beacon Hill was next to the sewage infested Charles River. It was dirty water, a cesspool of garbage and mess dumped by everybody in Early Boston. Air quality was poor. When black families had had enough they left Beacon Hill for cleaner air and more comfortable living space. And there were other factors.
Blacks transferred to a young Roxbury and Dorchester. Today, the absolute CENTER of African American Culture in Greater Boston is Roxbury, because Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Lous Farakhan, The New Edition and countless significant others made it so. Lower Roxbury connects to Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill and the South End. Roxbury is bordered by Dorchester and South Boston. If you were a black moving into Boston in the 1900s from the South you would mlikely move to a Roxbury address. A year ago, the Massachusetts designated the Roxbury Cultural District and an organization by the same name was formed with a mission to develop the neighborhood's cultural assets and arts.
In Early America (1638), a small group of Africans were brought to Boston from Angola and the Caribbean on a cargo ship named "Desire." They stepped into Boston as slaves owned by Bostonian Puritan business merchants and were sold to families who could afford them. The first Africans in Boston absorbed the Puritan culture because religon was universal and these Puritans were EXTREMELY Religious. They attended church, worshipped Jesus and in the back yards -- worshipped their own African religions. Code Switch. But no matter how far apart the masters had placed the enslaved, they found ways to romance and have kids. Black men and women bonded.
This created African American family and Beacon Hill was where most lived. at the time as well as the West End and the North End during the 17th century. For so long, Black people have been at the nucleus of Boston's explosive development since the city was chartered in 1630. Our contributions continue to impact the area. We do not know if any of the early Africans have descendants living in Roxbury today. As you know there are a lot of white people who can trace their ancestry to the early Puritans who passed by Plymouth Rock. Documentation is everything and Blacks at the time, had none.
Boston Black Business Finances
Summary: Massachusetts Black Business owners and MBE enterprises receive millions $$$ in Massachusetts government procurements. They win bid wins, sub-contracts and perform consulting. The numbers add up! MBE Business Enterprises extract hundreds of millions from the $32 Billion state budget.
- there are at least 2,866 minority-owned firms
- they won 11% more govenment dollars over last year
- 1,000 MBEs invoice Massachusetts government buyers
Four clusters of Black Middleclass neighborhoods surround Boston. One is in the City Limits, the others are not. Hyde Park has one and its in the City of Boston. Two Black middle class clusters around Greater Boston are in the Town of Stoughton, a suburban town near Boston. Another one is in the Town of Milton which connects to Black Mattapan.
Blacks are spread out, which is one reason there may be fewer well to do black neighborhoods. Most live in Black Boston. But there are more than 500 White middle class clusters in the region compared to that tiny number of four Black middle class neighborhood clusters. These clusters are defined as a collection of residential blocks where blacks are 15% of population and have a household earnings of $75,000 annually and hold a college degree.
So there you go, that's today's Greater Boston middle class look. But don't be disturbed. Blacks with money live all over the area, not just in one cluster. What do you tell a Black person when they ask you where to live in Boston? We tell them to go where the housing cost is about 35% of income and where its safe to be.
The lack of having more Black middle class clusters can affect power and influence in politics and what you get as a citizen caring about black issues. But the Congressional District Seven is composed of 57% people of color. Close to 100,000 of its residents voted for either Ayanna Pressley or Mike Capuano. The black woman won. It is the only Congressional District drawn to help insure a "majority-minority" candidate could win.
A Black mayoral candidate in 2017 failed to carry the Black commumity majority. He didn't win in his own City Council District where he had a seat. He lost 65 points to 30 something. Blacks had the numbers to elected him. In a recent newspaper series examining critical quality of life issues for Blacks in Boston, it has been determined that Boston sucks! When Blacks in 2017 were compared to Blacks in other cities of similiar scope, Boston Blacks got the shaft. (BOSTON GLOBE SPOTLIGHT TEAM article series titled RACISM. IMAGE. REALITY. 2017)
Nationally, 21% of Africans Americans make $75,000 a year. Black billionaires around the country have come out of the closet. We've seen them making software products, running coding camps for minority kids, teaching baseball skills to juniors, supporting our cultural and heritage institions and participating in Black empowerment.
But, studies found the financial strength of the average African American household is worse today than it was in the year 2000. Imagine that!
Web site viewer highlights
- 30% are age 18-24
- 38% are age 25-34
- 70% view us from Metropolitan Boston
- see company brochure and the network list here
Affordable Apartment Rentals
Cheap Apartments by Lottery
Our smallwall.net affordable housing finder site list properties designated for income-restricted households who typically have less than $68,000 per year in annual income.
The applicants qualify for modern, new apartment rentals, older mixed use rentals, and homes and condos sold below the market rate. A lottery determines who gets the unit. These apartments have fixed priced rents. An average new Studio or 1BR apartment rents for $700-$1,100, depending on location. Individuals with Section 8 vouchers and other types of housing subsidy pay just 30% of their monthly income for properties only available by entering the lottery.
Soledad O'Brien started her career under Sarah Ann Shaw whom she gave tribute to during the Urban League's State of Black Boston reunion 2014.
Local television outlets have many brown faces these days. Old timers say there used to be more than there are now. TV news reporters and on air hosts show off the diversity of what a majority-minority city is. It is a Pan African mix. African Americans are not the majority group on air. The public affairs show format is a mainstay anchor for the Blacks on TV category. Karen Holmes hosts CityLine Sunday mornings, Callie Crossley does Greater Boston and Basic Black on Friday nights - she is on daytime GBH radio too, and Byron Barnett brands the Urban Update TV show on Sunday mornings.
Basic Black produced by WGBH is the longest running public affairs television program in Boston. The Comcast public affairs station BNN-TV Channel 23 showcases producers of color from Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.
A small group of Black Africans made Boston's first Black community. Carried as cargo by merchant traders, a group of African men and women came to town aboard the ship named Desire in 1638, 17 years after Pilgrims founded Massachusetts Colony.
The Museum of Afro-American History on Beacon Hill offers guided tours while exhibiting Colonial African American life in Boston.
An important Civil War stature of African Americans is the U.S. 54th Regiment Memorial across the street from the Capitol building on Beacon Hill.
MassHealth is recommended for people who can't get great health care coverage from employers. Many have said the state of Massachusetts really takes care of people who are economically less fortunate than the richer middleclass and that's true. If you are in a hospital, start talking to a social worker there immediately. If you are seeking a home or employment, there are agencies setup to help you get what you need.
Airport taxi pool cabs are there all the time. The are cheap for short trips across town. Uber's that serve the airport are the higher priced SUV models. For flights running very early or very late, the taxi pool is useful. Ask us about competitive private car rates. A Boston taxi cab metered rate is $5.40 cents per mile. Suburban taxis charge $4.00 for the first mile and $3 for each additional mile. Boston taxis use a Flat Rate Chart based on $3.40 per mile for long distances.
The public city bus cost $2.10 without a day pass. Airports buses include the Logan Express Shuttle for $5. Catch it at Hynes Auditorium Back Bay. An express bus to the airport from suburban parking lots like Braintree cost $12 each way. Parking there is cheap. Taxi cab rates to Logan Airport vary by destination. Ask cab drivers for flat rates when traveling to nearby cities such as Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Waltham, etc. Many take taxis to the hospitals at Longwood. Those run $38-$42 each way. Patriots play football at Foxwoods. A cab from the airport runs about $95, but you can catch a scheduled train from South Station for $20 to the NFL football stadium. A taxi to Boston College Football runs $45-$55, to Fenway Park runs $40, to Brookline runs $40 ish.
Logan International Airport processes over 11 million passengers a year. The airport is across from Boston on the other side of Boston Harbor. Its in East Boston. Inexpensive shuttle buses go there. UBER and LYFT go there. Boston Taxi Cabs are convenient.
The Embrace by Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group wins competitive art contest selection for the $10M Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King public memorial installation to be placed on Boston Common.