Boston’s reputation for violent racism dates back at least to the 1970s, when anger over school desegregation prompted some working-class White residents to attack Black schoolchildren. The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Spotlight team digs deep into this reputation and its present-day reality in its latest investigative series, “Boston. Racism. Image. Reality.”
The series debuted yesterday (December 10) with an overview of statistics around the residential and economic segregation that Black Bostonites experience daily. For instance, the Globe looked at how many Craigslist home rental applications were turned down based on the perception of someone’s name; landlords ignored 45 percent of applications with names like Darnell and Keisha, as opposed to 36 percent from those with White-sounding names.
Black residents also attested to being erased from the city’s tourism and public image, which largely focuses on well-developed White commercial corridors. “It became really apparent to me soon after moving here that the version of Boston that the city is really invested in portraying to the outside world is only White Boston,” one resident said. “What’s the fear? That people are going to go to [long-standing Black neighborhood] Dorchester?”
Check the series website every day this week for more articles on the city’s redevelopment projects, experiences with sports teams and how Black residents are pushing back.