Shades of Gray

The real story of an overlooked 'hood

roxPhoto: Norman Leventhal Map Collection, Boston Public Library

H

ome to the likes of Malcolm X, Donna Summer, Minister Louis Farrakhan, and one of the first and only black U.S. senators, Edward W. Brooke, Roxbury has a rich history that’s a well-kept secret to people who don’t live there. So is Discover Roxbury, which runs guided walking tours that fill them in. The nonprofit also offers self-guided tours, lectures, open studios, and culinary events, and specialty tours—led by not only historians but chefs and artists—of Roxbury’s surprising contribution to musical, women’s, and Jewish history. Most tours and many events require advance reservations. Araki

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A weird historic oasis in an urban neighborhood, the 1747 Shirley-Eustis House at 33 Shirley St. in Roxbury was the Georgian-style mansion of Royal Governor William Shirley, commander-in-chief of all British forces in North America. Occupied later by Massachusetts Governor William Eustis, it’s the only remaining country house in America built by a royal colonial governor.

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