Map of Boston Gangs & Hood Areas
Boston’s past, as the infamous “Bloody Bean” where Boston gangs were rampant, has now become history. The streets within the Boston ghetto and urban areas are now some of the most gentrified in the country, with many neighborhoods undergoing gradual changes. Despite this, the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan remain home to numerous Boston hoods, all contributing to the city’s unique identity.
As many residents of urban communities in Boston are relocating to communities outside of the city, whether its towns like Taunton or Brockton, or elsewhere, there remains hoods like Academy, Heath Street, H Block, Lenox, Franklin Field, and others.
Boston Hoods Map Key: Blue = South End | Red = Roxbury | Green = Dorchester | Gold = Mattapan | Black = Various Hoods
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History of Boston Hoods
In the late 1940s and 1950s, white families started leaving Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods and settling in communities outside the city limits or near the border.
This migration opened up opportunities for African Americans, West Indians, and Latinos to move into Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan – three of Boston’s primary communities. Additionally, small sections of Jamaica Plain, East Boston, and Chelsea became home to the Latino community, while the South End district became the hub for African Americans in the city.
The South End was among the initial areas where black people settled in Boston. It is home to various housing projects such as Lenox, Castle Square, Cathedral, and the old Tent City. However, Roxbury became more known for its black history, as many southern blacks who migrated to Boston landed in the neighborhood of Roxbury. The population would later expand to Mattapan down Blue Hill Ave and specific sections of Dorchester towards the east.
Streets of Boston Hoods:
The Bloody Bean got its name from various reasons. In the past, there were frequent clashes between rival Boston gangs and neighborhoods, like Academy and Heath Street, before gentrification took place within the Boston hoods.
Although there were not any gangs as far as Bloods and Crips or Gangster Disciples and Latin Kings, in Boston, neighborhood rivalries often resemble gang activity. During that time, the streets of Boston often identified themselves with “The Three,” which has a disputed meaning. Additionally, individuals referred to themselves as Dawgs or wore Adidas sneakers, which can also symbolize “The Three”.
Eventually, the younger generation of the streets of Boston hoods have a different perspective about the city’s traditional culture, which has become less prominent among them. This shift in perception can be attributed to the influence of the internet and media, which have transformed the way they perceive the world around them.
Starting in the 1980s, Boston began gentrifying certain neighborhoods. This involved demolishing the old Columbia Point housing projects near Harbor Point. Today, the neighborhoods in Boston that are experiencing gentrification are those located near colleges, tourist attractions, and business districts like Mission Hill, the South End, and parts of Roxbury.