Boston, MA

Race strongly affects chances for success, study finds

October 02, 1999
Race continues to play a powerful role in the chances for success in America, from job opportunities to education to housing, according to a sweeping five-year study of Boston, Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles.
    The Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality, released Friday, found that racial stereotypes and attitudes heavily influence the labor market, with blacks landing at the very bottom.
    The mammoth, seven-volume survey was sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation, a private center that researches social policy, and the Harvard University Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. It looked at 9,000 households and 3,500 employers in the four cities. 

Boston to settle housing discrimination charges

July 26, 1999
Boston will pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of black and Hispanic residents of four public housing projects who were subjected to racial harassment and violence, the Justice Department said Monday.
     The settlement would resolve a lawsuit brought against the Boston Housing Authority by the Justice Department under the Fair Housing Act.
     The agreement, which requires the approval of a federal judge, would also resolve a separate private class action brought against the BHA in 1996, the Justice Department said.
     The BHA was accused of failing to protect 13 black and Hispanic residents from ``pervasive and violent racial harassment'' at BHA developments in the working class South Boston and Charlestown neighborhoods, the Justice Department said.

Fear of a mega-bank

July 08, 1999
Lunita Mustafa burst into tears as she spoke of her fear that the acquisition of BankBoston by Fleet would result in a mega-bank uninterested in providing services to people in low-income neighborhoods.
    Rarely does a discussion of banking inspire such emotion, but Mustafa worries that a decline in low-income mortgages would cut the number of homeowners working to keep the neighborhood safe and vibrant. Crime and violence can plague neighborhoods of renters who don't live in one place long enough to take pride in it, she said.
    "Five years ago there was a wild beast in our community, and it was devouring our children," said Mustafa, of Boston's Mattapan neighborhood. "Today, I hear they're going to unleash that beast again." 

Hilton bar accused of discrimination

June 18, 1999
Many Irish immigrants looking for work at the start of the century encountered signs in the city that read: ``Irish Need Not Apply.''
    Times have changed, say three waitresses who accused Hilton Hotels Corp. in a discrimination complaint of squeezing them out of their jobs so Irish natives can work in the hotel's planned Irish pub.
    ``They're trying to push us out. And why? Because we don't speak with an Irish accent,'' said Gloria DiMartino, 55. ``It's discrimination, pure and simple.''  

HUD releases report on Boston Housing Authority

May 15, 1999
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Cuomo today released a report that concludes the Boston Housing Authority has made significant progress since 1996 responding to racial and ethnic harassment in housing authority properties, but that troubling problems persist in some areas. The HUD report includes over 50 recommendations for improvements in BHA operations to address continuing problems.
      "HUD's report shows that, under Mayor Menino's leadership, the City of Boston and the Housing Authority have done a great deal to address problems of racial and ethnic harassment since 1996," Cuomo said. "But as the report points out, there is also still more to do to ensure all BHA residents live in a home free of bias.

Feminist ethics course: no place for men

February 26, 1999
Putting her career on the line, a renowned feminist philosopher at Boston College is refusing to accept two male students for a course called "Introduction to Feminist Ethics."
    Mary Daly, a 70-year-old tenured associate professor and self-described radical, contends the young men's presence would be distracting and disruptive to female students engaged in emotional and intellectual feminist debates. In the revolutionary spirit of the 1960s, when she began teaching at the Jesuit college, Daly refuses to back down, opting for a leave of absence in the face of an ultimatum from the administration: Teach men along with women or stop teaching. 

Noted judge, lawyer Higginbotham dead at 70

December 15, 1998
A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a civil rights defender who was one of the country's most prominent and influential black judges, has died. He was 70.
     Higginbotham, of Newton, suffered several strokes over the weekend before he died at Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday.
     Throughout his life, as a lawyer, judge and scholar, Higginbotham was known as a passionate advocate of civil rights. He received the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1995.
     The late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall called him ``a great lawyer and a very great judge.'' 

Family of racial harasser evicted from housing

December 12, 1998
A judge has allowed the Boston Housing Authority to evict a white family whose teen-age boy is accused of terrorizing his Hispanic neighbors.
     Margaret Donovan and a granddaughter have until February 1 to leave her Charlestown apartment, Housing Court Judge E. George Daher ruled. Her 17-year-old grandson, Vincent, already has been evicted because of the allegations against him.
     ``To attack other people because of their color, it's an intolerable situation,'' the judge said. 

"Eyes on the Prize" filmmaker Hampton dies

November 24, 1998
Henry Hampton, 58, who made "Eyes on the Prize," the acclaimed television series about the civil rights movement, died November 22 at a hospital here. He had lung cancer.
     Mr. Hampton first envisioned what would become his masterpiece as he participated in a civil rights march in Selma, Ala., in 1965.
     "A hundred civil rights stories had been told, but it was always black people being saved by whites," he said in a 1993 interview. "In 'Eyes,' we brought our people up in history." 

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