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Old 01-02-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
941 posts, read 591,072 times
Reputation: 652

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I feel like on multiple occasions on this forum I've heard people say things like "Boston is a good city for white people", or "white people like Boston", or something along those lines. I just don't understand why people say these things when Boston isn't intensly more white or less diverse than other major US cities, like San Francisco. And I don't think I've ever heard SF refered to as a "white" city. In fact, I feel as though, unlike Boston, diversity is often mentioned as one of SF's strong points.

Boston: SF:

47% white 42% white
24% black 6% black
9% asian 33% asian
18% hispanic 15% hispanic
2% 2 or more races 7% other races
5% 2 or more races

Boston is the second most asian city on the east coast, ahead of DC, Philly, Baltimore, Miami, and is also more asian than Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.

On the same note, Boston is blacker than Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, and Miami. and its practically on par with NYC, Dallas, Houston, and Pittsburgh.

Its more hispanic than Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Seattle, Atlanta, Minneapolis.

using percentages of course...

-------

So then why is boston a "white" city?

It doesn't have any one huge minority that accompanies its majority, like asians in SF, whites in DC, or blacks/whites in Philly, but wouldn't the fact that it has an even spread of minorities compared to these cities mean that it is in fact more diverse than them?

It has a very white metro area, but so do Miami and Detroit and yet few consider these to be "white" cities. Is there a double standard?

Boston had some race problems 40 years ago, but other cities had similar issues at some point as well.

So if those aren't the reasons, how did this stereotype of Boston being a "white" city come to be?

Also, if you think that few people see Boston as a "white" city feel free to disagree with my observations.

 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:32 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
12,474 posts, read 7,676,523 times
Reputation: 6930
Must have something to do with that snow storm they just got about a week ago.
 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:39 PM
 
9,976 posts, read 7,409,572 times
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Maybe it's the historical reputation of South Boston being one of the last working class urban Irish enclaves left in a fairly central urban area(or other neighborhoods like Charleston)... At one point there were tons of places like South Boston in East Coast and Midwestern cities prior to the era of white flight. It's become a fairly well known neighborhood or stereotype through the representation in films or TV over the last twenty years.

In particular Boston tends to have a whiter population in the central neighborhoods that most tourists or transplants visit as well. Your average visitor to Boston will visit the North End and Downtown and Beacon Hill and Bunker Hill, but not venture out into the southern neighborhoods. So that probably influences the perception of Boston.
 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:51 PM
 
13,339 posts, read 13,502,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Maybe it's the historical reputation of South Boston being one of the last working class urban Irish enclaves left in a fairly central urban area(or other neighborhoods like Charleston)... At one point there were tons of places like South Boston in East Coast and Midwestern cities prior to the era of white flight. It's become a fairly well known neighborhood or stereotype through the representation in films or TV over the last twenty years.

In particular Boston tends to have a whiter population in the central neighborhoods that most tourists or transplants visit as well. Your average visitor to Boston will visit the North End and Downtown and Beacon Hill and Bunker Hill, but not venture out into the southern neighborhoods. So that probably influences the perception of Boston.
Exactly. Boston has been presendted through media and movies till 2013, as a city that still has working-class White neighborhoods in it's inner-city. That contributes to it's stereotypes of Whiteness. Also Southie is a historically racist neighborhood, combined that with Larry Bird being one of the few White-American NBA superstars of that time, and you have a stereotype of Boston that'll last a lifetime.
 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
6,548 posts, read 3,465,471 times
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I have family in Dorchester and the neighborhood is very diverse. Boston is not a "white city" anymore however the history and politics of the city seem to be very white and the AA history is not on a level with other major cities like Philly, NYC, DC, Chicago, LA.
 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,061 posts, read 5,865,636 times
Reputation: 2910
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Maybe it's the historical reputation of South Boston being one of the last working class urban Irish enclaves left in a fairly central urban area(or other neighborhoods like Charleston)... At one point there were tons of places like South Boston in East Coast and Midwestern cities prior to the era of white flight. It's become a fairly well known neighborhood or stereotype through the representation in films or TV over the last twenty years.

In particular Boston tends to have a whiter population in the central neighborhoods that most tourists or transplants visit as well. Your average visitor to Boston will visit the North End and Downtown and Beacon Hill and Bunker Hill, but not venture out into the southern neighborhoods. So that probably influences the perception of Boston.
I agree that this the reputation with having ethnic white working class neighborhoods is the reason people consider it a "white city". I think it is about even with SF as far as diversity though taking in the entire Bay Area is where Boston starts to look more mono-ethnic.

I moved to Boston after living in the mostly dual racial coastal California (white and Hispanic) and I can honestly say I had never seen so many black people in my life. However they were very segregated into neighborhoods like Roxbury, Dorchester and parts of Cambridge - my neighborhood of Allston was almost devoid of AA / black people other than the college students.
 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:52 PM
 
13,339 posts, read 13,502,193 times
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But also to the OP, Boston may be black then some of those cities you named from a percentage standpoint, but those cities also have very LARGE Black districts and stretches of neighborhoods. NW Miami and South Central LA in particular are very large and very Black. But I agree overall Boston does have a fairly large Black/West Indian population. It isn't as White as the media portrays, as they often don't portray the working-class West Indian and Hispanic neighborhoods on TV like Dorcester, Mattapan, and Roxbury.
 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,061 posts, read 5,865,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polo89 View Post
But also to the OP, Boston may be black then some of those cities you named from a percentage standpoint, but those cities also have very LARGE Black districts and stretches of neighborhoods. NW Miami and South Central LA in particular are very large and very Black. But I agree overall Boston does have a fairly large Black/West Indian population. It isn't as White as the media portrays, as they often don't portray the working-class West Indian and Hispanic neighborhoods on TV.
Lots of Brazilians too. I thought Boston was fairly diverse, I'd say on par with San Francisco. It's pretty far off from Los Angeles or Miami though.
 
Old 01-02-2013, 05:58 PM
 
13,339 posts, read 13,502,193 times
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As a matter of fact, New Edition(who were all from Roxbury and grew up in a housing project there) was probably the Biggest sign of Black life the US got from Boston.....But then again New Kids On The Block came right after them(And NKOTB were ironically from Dorcester).
 
Old 01-02-2013, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
941 posts, read 591,072 times
Reputation: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by polo89 View Post
But also to the OP, Boston may be black then some of those cities you named from a percentage standpoint, but those cities also have very LARGE Black districts and stretches of neighborhoods. NW Miami and South Central LA in particular are very large and very Black. But I agree overall Boston does have a fairly large Black/West Indian population. It isn't as White as the media portrays, as they often don't portray the working-class West Indian and Hispanic neighborhoods on TV like Dorcester, Mattapan, and Roxbury.
I don't understand the point here. In Miami, a city with 399457 residents, there are about 9,0676 Africans/African Americans whereas in Boston, a city with 617594 residents, there are about 150,793. NW Miami may be LARGE, but, at least in terms of population Dorchester/Roxbury/Mattapan is LARGER. Unless NW Miami is a completely desperate city, in which case that's fine. But is it really so much more than Boston to the point where Boston's black enclaves can be completely written off? And yeah, the media for some reason likes to stay away from Allston/Chinatown/Eastie/West Roxbury/JP/Mattapan/ everywhere besides Southie, Charlestown, and occasionally the North End....

And I'm not just talking about black. Boston also is the second most Hispanic and Asian city on the east coast. It's not just media that likes to portal Boston as white, I've seen people on this forum do it. I just don't get it...


Quote:
I thought Boston was fairly diverse, I'd say on par with San Francisco. It's pretty far off from Los Angeles or Miami though.
Are Miami and LA really that diverse? I thought Miami was practically 100% Hispanic. And I know LA has sizable Hispanic and Asian populations but is that enough to really put it ahead of Boston/SF?

Quote:
As a matter of fact, New Edition(who were all from Roxbury and grew up in a housing project there) was probably the Biggest sign of Black life the US got from Boston...
No love for Donna Summer, Gang starr, Bel Biv Devoe(though kind of the same), WEB DuBois, and recent developments like Moufy and Bad Rabbits? Oh well, I do see what your saying. But how much has say Baltimore's AA population contributed to mainstream America? While it's true that Boston hasn't produced too many black pop stars, I still think its African American population is more ignored than that of any other American city. Not in that people don't care about them, but rather seemingly people don't know about them...I guess. Or maybe people think that busing is still happening? And the aidian and Hispanic populations are perhaps even more ignored. I just don't know why people think Boston is a good city specifically for white people....
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