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« Ryan's Fall Fashion Recommendations | Main | Opinions on Glamour's ex-editor Ashley Baker and Racism »

October 08, 2007



Boston is 25% black I think


LOL… the "whitest white town" comment royally pissed off my boyfriend (a Boston-area native). You're probably right on that stat, but I'm talking more about the feel of the city.

I believe that the center of any city really represents the culture of that city. Downtown Boston mainly consists of Fenway, Back Bay, Theater District/Boylston Area, Government Center, North Station, and the Financial District (there are a few areas wedged in between). And in this downtown area, the culture feels very white. Here are some varied examples and observations to illustrate what I mean:

- There are few restaurants/lounges that aim to establish an "African-American vibe" (while there are PLENTY of European locations – Irish, Italian, etc.). There are some cool jazz spots and one Soul Food restaurants that I can think of, but they aren't downtown.
- Moreover, hip-hop nights at bars and clubs have been virtually banned in the city.
- There are VERY few Black hair salons/supply stores in the center of the city. Actually, there's only one salon that I can think of downtown (it's called Cramers, and it's fabulous). You have to travel to surrounding neighborhoods to find any real African-American hair products. I think you may have commented on this fact in my "Glamour ex-editor" post.
- While Boston University, the largest university in Boston, prides itself on diversity, there were 800 African-American undergraduate students at BU my junior year… out of 16,000.

And two things that just erk me;
- The Orange Line subway is continuously referred to as the "ghetto line" (it travels into Roxbury).
- This is the only east coast city where I've heard the N-word used outright.

While these tidbits may seem minor, they come together to create a very segregated landscape. Too segregated for perhaps the smartest cities in the U.S. They also build on the city's tumultuous history when it comes to race (race riots, strange mandatory school integration, etc).

These are just my observations after living here for 7 years. I'm sure other Bostonians have some strong opinions on the subject… some that contradict my own. I'd actually be eager to hear them, so perhaps I'll repost this comment as its own blog post and open it up to discussion.


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