Tag Archives: Dorchester

Referring to Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.

City Hall Plaza

Open Letter to Boston’s Mayoral Candidates

Greetings City of Boston Mayoral Candidate:

We send this communication in regards to an issue of huge concern to the residents who reside within the 3.5 miles radius of Greater Roxbury.  That issue revolves around the question of land, development and the ability of current residents, who are primarily “People Of Color,” to remain in their present homes on a permanent basis without the fear of being displaced.

At present we are observing a “building boom” throughout the City Of Boston that includes the previously mentioned Greater Roxbury. A prime example would be the Ferdinand Building construction project in Dudley Square, Roxbury. It is a $116 million dollar venture that has been described as a future economic engine for the area. The big question on the minds of many residents in the affected area “for whom????”

There is a great deal of trepidation among residents that the alleged “boom” is nothing more than a smokescreen for the dreaded term know as gentrification and is interpreted as “present people removal.” We as a community, in many respects, watch helplessly with no voice as the concrete is laid, steel girders going up and no new lines of communication being established to inform the everyday resident of what bodes for the future and how it will affect us as residents who presently reside in these areas.

Therefore, we as the tax paying electorate are requesting that you and your campaign explain in detail in writing, what position you as mayor and what your administration would take as it pertains to stabilizing a very fragile situation. Many residents are vulnerable in regards to gentrification due to the fact that several families rely on rent subsidies or you have home owners who are in jeopardy of losing their homes due to a high property tax rate.

It is expected that any candidate under consideration must be sensitive to the situation of land and continued residency and present a detailed plan on how their administration would address this very sensitive and life changing matter.  We appreciate your consideration of this very crucial issue and look forward to your response in the very immediate future.

In land stabilization,

Sadiki Kambon, Director

The Black Community Information Center Inc.

Dudley Square

A Dudley Square Public Service Announcement

Change is inevitable. I welcome change. Roxbury has changed from my mother’s day to mine to my children and grandchildren. On a Saturday afternoon I could grab my change and head to one of three theaters on Washington Street. Yes, at one time there were three theaters, The Dudley, the Riverlee and the Uptown. But with all the gentrification in motion for Dudley Square, I want to know if there will be a black neighborhood for my grandchildren to play in. To learn, work, shop and raise their children.

Yes, I’m thinking long term. I’m planning like the government plans. I’m trying to set in motion a fury of black leaders who don’t want their community overrun by big-box stores like Walmart and Subway, driving off our Nubian Notions and Silver Slippers. Black people have to form coalitions, buy land, start businesses and support those businesses if we don’t want to get squeezed out of communities that we’ve lived in all of our lives.

Opportunists will find any entry they can and come in. Next thing you know the neighborhood you grew up in is now a Walmart taking up 20 acres of land. The Dorchester and Roxbury area is filled with culture, rich in history. The thought of it becoming a generic town is heartbreaking. We can’t allow this to be done. Dudley Square was my old stomping ground. I used to play in the alley where the Haley House now stands.

This is why I’m so passionate about our Dudley Square; this is why Brother Lowe, many others including myself protested for 35 days straight for jobs for Boston residents. I know bus stops have to be eventually moved and bike trails constructed, but I don’t want to lose my community. I don’t want it wiped out. Roxbury… so rich with history. Malcolm X walks these streets. His spirit is still here. We have to make sure it stays in our hands. We are Roxbury. I’m still fortunate enough to occasionally drive by my mother’s house on West Walnut Park, I wonder how long that will last.

This has been a public service announcement from your Dudley Square Jazz Diva, Fulani Haynes.