Welcome to Roxbury, a relatively large residential neighborhood just outside of Downtown Boston. One of the first towns founded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the English in 1630, Roxbury became a city in 1846. Originally named “Rocksberry,” due to its rocky soil, which made farming difficult, this township was annexed to the City of Boston in 1868 and is now 1 of 23 neighborhoods in this densely populated area of Massachusetts. Once home to many Irish immigrants who moved here during the Great Famine of the 1840s, Roxbury has experienced several different waves of settlers moving here to take advantage of its plentiful resources. In the mid-1900s, Roxbury’s black community began to take shape. By the late 20th century, Roxbury had emerged as a focal point of Boston’s black culture and remains that way to this day. Roxbury is bounded by the neighborhoods of Dorchester to the east, Mattapan to the south, Jamaica Plain to the west, and Fenway-Kenmore and South End to the north.
Roxbury is distinguished by a strong sense of community and a willingness to help the less fortunate. This neighborhood consists of several community gardens and urban farms, the first of their kind in Boston. The fresh produce from these urban farms is designated to be sold at low cost, as well as donated to local initiatives and programs that help feed those in homeless shelters and other welfare facilities. Once a predominantly Jewish hub known as Dudley Square, Nubian Square today serves as the primary commercial district and an epicenter of the black and African American culture that exists in Boston. The new development of high-rise condos and apartment buildings has led to more diversity in Roxbury and steady growth. Roxbury today is home to an increasing number of families and professionals that are drawn here due to its affordable housing prices, friendly atmosphere, and historical architecture.
Roxbury offers a selection of entertainment options, recreational centers, and public green spaces for you to take advantage of as a resident. Despite an overall lack of MBTA commuter rail stations, Roxbury offers numerous bus stops along main streets and avenues. Check out the popular Franklin Park, which has a zoo with a forest habitat for western lowland gorillas. Grab lunch at one of the Caribbean or Dominican restaurants around Nubian Square and then head over to the National Center of Afro-American Artists, which houses over 3,000 African-American and African diasporan cultural pieces.