1) Boston really does have a racist reputation
A poll commissioned by the Globe found that 54 percent of black people across the country rated Boston as unwelcoming to people of color, far more than other cities included in the poll such as New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco.
2) Black families are much poorer than white ones
3) Greater Boston is whiter than most other major metro areas
More than two dozen towns in Massachusetts — including Manchester-by-the-Sea and Plympton — had no black residents at all, according to recent Census estimates. This helps explain why so many black residents say they feel isolated.
4) It is hard to find prosperous black neighborhoods in metro Boston
Many black professionals said they feel particularly isolated here. Because of the relatively small black population and stubborn income gap, there are few middle-and-upper-class black neighborhoods in the region.
5) Discrimination is real
6) Black enrollment at many colleges remains low
At Harvard University, just 5 percent of students are black, less than half the national average for black enrollment for schools offering at least a bachelor’s degree. At Boston University, it’s just 4 percent, little changed from 1980.
7) Boston’s newest neighborhood is also one of the whitest
8) Health care is segregated, too
Much like neighborhoods, some Boston hospitals show signs of segregation. Just 5 percent of patients at the prestigious Mass. General Hospital are black, compared with 40 percent at Boston Medical Center a few miles away. Much of that is because of geography. Mass. General is in a largely white neighborhood, while Boston Medical is closer to black neighborhoods. But even when the Spotlight Team looked at specific neighborhoods, it found white patients were more likely to go to Mass. General, while black patients were more likely to go to Boston Medical. Partly, that’s because some lower-cost insurance plans often used by blacks don’t pay for care at Mass. General. In addition, some black patients said they felt more comfortable at more diverse hospitals with more black doctors.
9) Boston’s image has been damaged by a few racist sports fans
10) Few black people hold positions of power
The entire congressional delegation is white. And only one black candidate has won election to statewide office in the past 45 years (former governor Deval Patrick).
11) There are plenty of potential solutions
Experts say there’s no single salve to repair Boston’s reputation and erase racial disparities.
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