Stories

Cecilia Dixon stands on Harvard Street, Dorchester, by her new home.

Boston’s racial homeownership gap has widened. What will it take to fix it?

April 1, 2022

House hunting in Boston can often feel like one of those reality TV dating shows. There’s the first meeting, where you and a dozen or so other contestants circle the object of your desire. You fall in love, maybe make a proposal, and then more likely than not … you get rejected. This is the…

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480 West Broadway describes itself as an "18 unit condo project" under construction on the corner where East and West Broadway meet.

Boston gets billions in home loans, but white areas get ‘much bigger piece of the pie’

March 31, 2022

Homeownership is the primary way most Americans build wealth. And for most people, buying a home doesn’t happen without a mortgage loan. Altogether, home loans amount to billions of dollars flowing into Boston every year. But this infusion of money doesn’t reach all parts of the city equally. A WBUR analysis finds lenders make a…

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A "For Sale" sign by a house on Ballou Ave. in Mattapan.

Black and Hispanic people are more likely to be denied mortgage loans in Boston

March 30, 2022

Owning a home is considered part of the so-called American dream. But for Black and Hispanic Bostonians, it is more often a dream denied. A new WBUR analysis of mortgage lending in Boston from 2015-2020 found lenders denied mortgages to Black applicants at three times the rate of white applicants. Hispanic applicants were twice as…

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The front exterior of the Berkshire Museum is one of six institutions in central and western Massachusetts that -- according to a government inventory -- still have the remains of native people not yet repatriated. The museum is starting the process of repatriation.

‘Bone dust in my skin’: How a legacy of racism has left nearly 117,000 native ancestors not at rest

March 8, 2022

For centuries, archeologists and amateur collectors looted Native American graves in Massachusetts and across the country, taking the remains of people — and the objects that were buried with them. Sometimes farmers or developers unearthed people unintentionally. They were given to museums, universities and even libraries. Institutions have reported to the government they have the…

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White nationalist protesters gather outside Brigham and Women's Hospital during a rally Jan. 22, 2022.

Neo-Nazis target anti-racist doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, calling them ‘anti-white’

February 2, 2022

On Saturday, Jan. 22, about two dozen white nationalists dressed in identical beige khaki pants and dark hoodies protested in front of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston holding a bedsheet with black lettering reading “B and W Hospital Kills Whites.” They passed out flyers condemning by name two doctors associated with the hospital and…

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A deed from Springfield, Mass., in 1916 states that “sad lot shall not be resold to a colored person, a Polander or in Italian.” This language appears on the deeds for at least four separate properties in Hampton County.

Racist covenants still stain property records. Mass. may try to have them removed

January 22, 2022

In the bedroom community of Wilmington, Mass., just south of Lowell, sits a little white house, with paint peeling from the trim and a mailbox emblazoned with the American flag at the end of the driveway. Homeowners Edward Kaizer and his wife Mary Tassone-Kaizer say the house has been in the family for generations. But…

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NH Supreme Court III

Teachers’ union and parents sue N.H. officials over law restricting teachings on racism, oppression

December 13, 2021

A New Hampshire teachers’ union is suing state officials over a law restricting certain teachings on race, racism, and other forms of oppression. The American Federation of Teachers – New Hampshire filed the lawsuit along with several parents and teachers in federal court. The lawsuit alleges the law prevents teachers from meeting certain state educational…

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The Middle Passage port marker at the end of Long Wharf, Boston.

Boston could be next city to consider reparations for Black residents

December 1, 2021

At the end of Boston’s Long Wharf is a glass and metal slab that tells a story of the city’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The monument stands to remind those walking along the waterfront that Boston was a hub for ships carrying African people who were sold into slavery. The marker could be seen as a…

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Boston native Kyle Wells at his home in Atlanta.

Black Bostonians Fled To Atlanta To Escape Racism. They’re Not Coming Back, No Matter Who’s Elected Mayor.

October 25, 2021

ATLANTA — Kyle Wells, 49, grew up in Boston’s Mattapan near the intersection of Morton Street and Blue Hill Avenue. By the end of his senior year at Boston Latin School, he was itching to leave town. “My kind of high school goal was to move out of Boston,” said Wells, who headed southward to…

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Boston Schools Desegregation, Then And Now: Through The Eyes Of A Black Student Who Survived The 1970s Turmoil

September 30, 2021

Cedric Turner was 16 years old when bell bottoms were polyester and “The Bump” filled radio airwaves, moving young people to knock their hips together to the beat. It was the dawn of the disco era, with colored lights flashing in nightclubs as music blasted away. A street-wise kid from Mattapan, Turner was Black, six-foot-two…

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