Twenty years after creating a mural showcasing Roxbury history in Dudley Square, artist Michael Womble returned to refresh and revise the work.
New talent emerges with winning presentations
Caribbean Carnival, one of Boston’s largest cultural events, showcased new talent this year, with new band leaders and designers winning awards.
Roxbury voters objected to the Governor's economic development Sept. 8 listening session tour date in Roxbury, which coincides with the preliminary voting for City Council.
Parades and competitions this week
Carnival Parade comes to Boston this Saturday with a parade of mas bands. Contestants will compete against each other before a panel of judges who are flown in from Trinidad. The parade, which regularly draws tens of thousands of participants and spectators, is the largest cultural event in Boston’s black community and one of the largest in the city. Several other parades and competitions will happen this week.
Roxbury woman suing T for civil rights violation
Last week, the ACLU of Massachusetts announced a lawsuit against the MBTA Police Department for police brutality and posted its webpage video recordings of the 2014 beating of Mary Holmes by officers Jennifer Garvey and Alfred Trinh. Holmes was facing charges of assault and battery on a public employee, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but the bus station videos showed clearly that Holmes did nothing to warrant the attack. This is the type of abuse many in the black community have complained about for decades.
A video of a Boston Police officer choking a teen has angered activists. The mayors response to reporters' questions about the video seems to have fanned the flames.
At a time when the City of Boston has been seen resisting a proposal to outfit BPD officers with body-worn cameras, the case of a woman beaten by MBTA officers underscored how effective cameras can be at countering embellished police reports.
While the steel and glass luxury apartment towers going up downtown have come to typify Boston’s building boom, the city has greenlighted several smaller projects in and around Roxbury that show a different side to the city’s expanding housing market. The projects promise to bring a mixture of market-rate and affordable housing units to the Roxbury area, as well as ground-level retail space that could contribute to the revitalization of long-vacant commercial areas.
Festival is 30th held in Boston
Over the last 30 years, the city’s Dominican community has grown from a few thousand families centered in Jamaica Plain to one of the city’s largest ethnic groups. With more than 38,000 Boston residents claiming Dominican heritage, Dominicans have surpassed Puerto Ricans as the largest Latino group in Boston.
The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice has filed lawsuits alleging the hair testing the Boston Police Department uses to determine whether officers have used drugs is scientifically unsound and more like to generate false positives among blacks than among white officers.
Say Muslims unfairly targeted
Activists in Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles spoke out last week against the Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism program, calling for more transparency and denouncing what many see as an unwarranted focus on Muslims.
Early Sept. 8 preliminary could see scant turnout
With the date of the city’s preliminary election moved to Tuesday, Sept. 8 — the day after the Labor Day weekend — turnout is expected to be light in Roxbury’s District 7 and Dorchester’s District 4 races. And while both races feature a range of candidates — four in District 4 and six in District 7 — the bounty of candidates will not necessarily translate into an electrified electorate.
During a City Council hearing held by the Committee on Government Operations councilors questioned police officials and members of the Boston Police Camera Action Team on an ordinance that would require police to be outfitted with body-worn cameras.
Local black labor activists have opened a Boston chapter of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, a national group aimed at forging alliances on civil rights and labor issues.
Massachusetts state senators, representatives and sheriffs were among dozens who turned out to a State House hearing July 23 in support of Senate bill 1812, which would end the legal requirement to suspend driver’s licenses for people convicted of non-violent, no-vehicle-related drug offenses for up to five years.
Calls for city to tackle real problems
As the dust settled on the Boston 2024 bid Monday afternoon, elected officials in Boston’s black community reacted with a mixture of relief and optimism.
A court-appointed receiver for the former Radius Hospital on Townsend Street is seeking bidders for an August 13 auction to sell the 159,000-square-foot facility and the five acres of prime Roxbury land on which it sits. Possible uses for the site include a health care facility, a school, dormitory space or housing.
Push for public support comes as report finds fault with agency
The Boston Redevelopment Authority seems to be making good on its pledge to be more transparent and accountable, seeking public support for its urban renewal districts amid revelations the agency is lacks critical planning staff and has potentially mismanaged finances.
Former Radius hospital to be sold
For sale: 159,000 square-foot hospital building complex on five acres of prime Roxbury land. Bids due August 10.
A group of civil rights activists, elected officials and attorneys will soon call on Mayor Martin Walsh to settle longstanding discrimination complaints filed by black officers in the Boston Police Department, reform the system of exams used for hiring and promotion, and take affirmative steps to end police profiling.
Brainstorm arts ideas for Boston Creates
The Dorchester residents packed into a classroom at the Vietnamese American Community Center represent a cross section of the city’s most diverse neighborhood: black, Latino, white and Asian, young and old, brainstorming ideas about how to best enhance the local arts scene. The idea-sharing session was part of the city’s Boston Creates initiative, a 15-month effort aimed at enhancing the city’s arts scene.
Many defend D.R.’s planned deportations
Last week, the scene in front of the Dominican consulate was tense as a predominantly Haitian group of protesters squared off against a smaller group of Dominicans demonstrating in support of the Dominican government. That protest was perhaps the most visible sign of a rift within the Boston-area Dominican community over their government’s new immigration policy, which critics say will effectively render stateless more than 200,000 people born in the Dominican Republic.
Cops now obligated to cite reason for stop
Nine months after the release of a report detailing a pattern of bias in police stops of blacks in Boston, the Boston Police Department has instituted new guidelines for its officers that explicitly prohibit stops based solely on race, gender or physical characteristics.
Legislators, diplomats attend State House event
As the independent nation of Cape Verde turns 40, Cape Verdeans reflect on the historic significance of the date.
City officials, business boosters gather at Strand Theatre
More than 400 came to the Strand Theatre last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Boston Main Streets program, which has helped revitalize 20 neighborhood business districts in the city.
President Obama’s call to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state capital in South Carolina in the wake of the Charleston church shooting bolstered the growing backlash against the divisive symbol.
Cambridge attorney Dennis Benzan was elected to the city council in 2013 on a pledge to help residents find jobs in the city’s booming tech sector. In two short years, Benzan has zeroed in on a set of programs and initiatives aimed at preparing Cambridge students for the innovation economy.
The black-led development team seeking to build an office and residential complex in Dudley Square has pulled the wraps off their design, and it’s big. Rising from the limestone façade of the Institution for Savings in Roxbury and its Vicinity, the steel and glass tower in the rendering from Stull and Lee architects would stand 25 stories above Washington Street and include 392,355 square feet of commercial, office and residential space. If completed according to plan, the building will be the tallest ever built in Roxbury.
Nearly two years after the high court in the Dominican Republic stripped citizenship from people descended from Haitian migrants, the Dominican government reportedly is preparing to send tens of thousands of its former citizens to Haiti.
Numbers of blacks, Latinos drop in years after desegregation order overturned
With more than 1,600 employees, the Fire Department is the city’s third largest agency. At a time when Boston has become more diverse, the Fire Department has become more white.
A coalition of planning groups is calling on state and local officials to play a lead role in planning improvements to housing, transportation and infrastructure in Massachusetts during planning for Boston’s bid to bring the 2024 Olympic games here.
New York-based education group ups the stakes
Families for Excellent Schools opened its Massachusetts office last year in the wake of a failed bid by charter school supporters to lift the Massachusetts cap on new charters. Their ongoing petition, which calls on legislators to “Give every child access to an excellent public school in his or her neighborhood — whether it’s a district or a charter school,” is widely seen as the opening salvo in a coming fight to lift the charter school cap.
Attorneys held a training last week for activists seeking to curb police abuse by observing stops and arrests.
A pewter teapot, said to have belonged to Revolutionary War-era hero Crispus Attucks, is on display at the Boston Public Library. Like Attucks himself, the history of the teapot generates more questions than answers.
Vote on MBTA budget seen as compromise with Baker administration
The Massachusetts Senate voted against allowing fare increases for the MBTA, and approved an oversight panel, to be appointed by the governor.
While prices of single- and multi-family homes are quickly becoming unaffordable for Roxbury residents, condominiums provide an affordable alternative. But stiff competition and unstable condo associations present hurdles and risks for prospective buyers.
As drugs hit ’burbs, emphasis shifts to treatment programs
As heroin and other opioids have proliferated in predominantly white communities in Massachusetts, state and local officials have shifted their emphasis from drug law enforcement to treatment. Blacks, who have long argued drug addiction is a sickness, not a crime, see a double standard in the shift from punishment to treatment.
Sunday, Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard and many of her classmates are going to give back to Delaware State University in a demonstrative way. As the class of 2015 prepares to walk for graduation, members of the class of 1965 will present the largest single donation in the school’s history — a check for $100,000.
Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has launched the Office of Economic Empowerment, an effort aimed at teaching financial literacy in Massachusetts schools, as part of an ambitious reform agenda.
City to pool resources with businesses and nonprofits
City officials are ready to marshal public, corporate and nonprofit resources in an unprecedented effort to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color in education, in the workforce and in criminal justice, as part of Boston’s version of the national My Brother’s Keeper effort.
Not long after we posted Eliza Dewy’s article on this year’s City Council races on the web Wednesday, we got a phone call from the campaign of Tito Jackson noting that the fundraising totals cited for the councilor did not reflect his latest filing. Our press deadline is Monday, and the campaigns weren’t required to report on the last 15-day period until Tues., May 5.
Former MBTA manager Beverly Scott sees last winter’s T failure as an opportunity to plan for the future of the transit agency and foster a broader conversation about how public transit and other modes of transit can work together to better move people and goods in the Greater Boston area.
Allege ISD chief’s former firm gives developer inside track
Roxbury residents are complaining developers may be using political connections to obtain variances from the city’s Inspectional Services Department.
Members of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Caucus took turns reading King’s 1965 address to the Massachusetts Legislature in a commemorative ceremony that was attended by legislative leadership, Gov. Charlie Baker and past lawmakers.
The city relies on a patchwork of neighborhood associations to solicit community input on development decisions in Roxbury. Community residents are calling for the revival of the Roxbury Neighborhood Council as an organization that represents the community’s interests in local development issues.
In her first year and a half Roxbury Community College President Valerie Roberson closed the school’s longstanding budget deficit, brought the college into compliance with federal financial aid regulations and began a $19 million overhaul of the school’s buildings. This year, Roberson plans to chart a course for the future with the release of a visioning plan she led with faculty, staff, students and residents and stakeholders in the Roxbury community.
The Walsh administration’s first Workforce Profile Report contained few surprises. Released last week, the report underscored the challenges the city faces in maintaining a workforce that mirrors the city’s majority-minority population. While whites make up 46 percent of Boston’s population, they hold 58 percent of city jobs. Blacks, Latinos and Asians are underrepresented in the higher-paying jobs in city government.
As two firms vie for the right to redevelop a long-vacant property, one developer’s refusal to commit to minority hiring and subcontracting goals provoked angry responses from Roxbury residents.
The History Makers, a Chicago-based nonprofit, has amassed recordings of more than 7,000 oral histories from African Americans in cities around the country. It is the largest African American story collection effort since the Works Progress Administration collected interviews with ex-slaves in the 1930s.
The Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee voted Monday to adopt a plan that would require developers building on publicly-owned land in Roxbury to commit to so-called living-wage standards for construction workers and for permanent jobs created by new construction projects. The body rejected by a narrow vote a proposal to require new businesses on publicly-owned parcels to commit to card-check neutrality — a provision requiring employers to commit to not blocking employees’ right to unionize.