Boston is known for its schools, its sports teams, and, to many, its racism. However, the city has an incredibly rich history of radical Black activism. Most notably, the effort by activists to separate the predominantly Black neighborhood of Roxbury from the rest of the city under the Mandela Initiative. Though their plan ultimately failed, the Initiative inspired a new wave of activism and innovation to issues surrounding urban planning, land development, and community control. As Boston has finally become a majority-minority city and has taken the step of electing Michelle Wu, the first woman and person of color to become mayor of Boston, an examination of her fight against gentrification through the memory of the Mandela Initiative is needed. 

Read Saleh Ismail’s revealing article on The [F]law:  “Activism and Land Control in a Changing Boston.”