Belated nod to the Banner

In my last post I had fun with the Boston media I love to hate, but I completely forgot Boston’s excellent Black-owned and -edited newspaper, the Bay State Banner. And yes, I do attribute this to my own racism—here’s a paper I read every week and respect, but it happened to slip my mind while I was composing a lament for the state of the local press.

It takes a while to get to know a newspaper. That’s part of the compact I was talking about last week: I spend time becoming familiar with your reporters and columnists, your house style, your concerns and interests; I pick you up weekly or monthly; I read and absorb your ads. In return, I want your respect. I feel I have the Banner‘s (their copyediting is ace!). But it took longer for me to get into this paper than the Dig, which I loved on sight. I used to find the Banner dull and largely unintelligible. Why? I think it was because I knew little about the communities it covers and did not yet find news about people of color to be personally important to me. I’m thankful that I do find it so now.

Anyway, here’s a great article by Banner reporter Sandra Larson about something that indeed concerns me deeply: affordable housing. Clearly and effectively, Larson lays out the opposing views on Roxbury’s Bartlett Place development in the context of the larger, city-wide argument over which is better for a disadvantaged neighborhood, renting or owning. Check out her second paragraph:

In the architectural renderings, these elements [housing, retail and public space] are woven together in a cohesive community. But in the wider Roxbury community, a gulf divides proponents of low-income or market-rate housing, and rental or ownership opportunities, a rift becoming heated as more large real estate developments take shape in Roxbury. In public meetings, approval hearings, petitions and letters, questions of affordable housing, “gentrification” and economic opportunity spark impassioned debate among developers, city officials and community members hungry for economic prosperity.

Read the rest and be informed.

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