Spotlighting Boston's Black neighborhoods as NAACP Convention kicks off
When the 114th NAACP Convention kicks off this week in Boston, it's expected to draw more than 7,000 attendees and generate $12.5 million for the local economy.
- But most programming will be in the predominantly white Seaport neighborhood — where the city's major events often are.
Why it matters: Locals tell Axios it's important for attendees to see Boston's majority-Black neighborhoods too, to highlight the city's crucial role in the Civil Rights movement and spotlight a diverse set of businesses and landmarks that tourists rarely see.
Driving the news: Boston's NAACP chapter — the organization's first chartered branch — is hosting a tour of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan Friday afternoon for convention attendees. Visitors will get to know local businesses and the neighborhood's ups and downs, organizers say.
- "Boston is actually going through a renaissance," state Sen. Liz Miranda (D-Boston), who helped plan the tour, tells Axios.
- "Renaissances aren't easy and quick. They take a lot of work."
The big picture: The convention, which runs through Aug. 1, last came to Boston in 1982.
- He famously addressed 22,000 people who marched from Roxbury to Boston Common in 1965.
Yes, but: By 1982, Boston was also grappling with a racist resistance to school desegregation and has since struggled to shake a reputation as racist.
By the numbers: The city is majority-minority with a 44% white population.
- Nearly a quarter of its residents are Black, about 20% are Hispanic/Latino and about 10% are Asian, according to Census data.
What they're saying: Boston is a melting pot of different cultures, says Collin Knight, owner of Live Like a Local Tours. "You won’t know that unless you come to the city, and the city gives you access to those neighborhoods of color and promotes those neighborhoods of color."
- Knight's tours feature Nubian Square staples like Frugal Bookstore, P&R Jamaican restaurant and the neighborhood's murals.
Details: The NAACP-led tour will start in Mattapan, where attendees will visit the Cote Village Apartments — a new affordable housing complex, replacing a long-abandoned Ford dealership.
- They'll hear about local activism, food justice and the Caribbean diaspora, says Noemi Ramos, executive director of New England United 4 Justice.
- They'll also meet with teen organizations, such as Teen Empowerment and Greatest MINDS, in Grove Hall before visiting Nubian Markets in Nubian Square.
More Boston stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Boston.