Personal Reflection: Framing Roxbury

Originally published here.

In starting my photojournalism assignment, I encountered some difficulty with the Boston history portion of it. Boston is drowning in historic artifacts, and yet, as I walked over to take the train into Copley one morning, I began thinking about originality as well. It is one thing to run over to Fenway Park or the Commons and snap a few pictures of stagnant Boston history.


Then, I remembered a conversation I had with the kind older woman who checked me out at my local supermarket a week back. She had been telling me that her apartment complex in Roxbury was soon to undergo some serious renovations, and that she would have to be relocated for the foreseeable future. She was scared of leaving and of losing the home that had been in her life for so long. As I made my way back from class, I decided to walk over to the complex, only a block away from my own apartment. As I walked towards it, I saw “1952” engraved on the side of the building, and instantly, images of past families and experiences flooded my mind. There isn’t anything more organically historic about a city than its oldest residences. And here was a massive low income housing project that is at risk of falling victim to the grasp of gentrification. I decided to take pictures of an unconventional type of Boston history. A history of this city that will soon be erased, a history that has and continues to affect hundreds if not thousands of lives. I am in no way advocating ideology or politics with my pictures, simply demonstrating that not all history in this city is statues and plaques, sometimes there is so much value in some run-down brick building you pass on the way to work every day.