|Neighborhood of Boston|
First Church of Roxbury
|Annexed by Boston||1868|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC)|
|Area code(s)||617 / 857|
Roxbury is a dissolved municipality and a currently officially recognized neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Roxbury is one of 21 official neighborhoods of Boston, used by the city for neighborhood services coordination. The city asserts that it "serves as the heart of Black culture in Boston."
Roxbury was one of the first towns founded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, and became a city in 1846 until annexed to Boston on January 5, 1868. The original town of Roxbury once included the current Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, the South End and much of Back Bay. Roxbury now generally ends at Hammond Street, Davenport Street to the east, and East Lenox Street/Melnea Cass Boulevard to the south.
The original boundaries of the Town of Roxbury can be found in Drake's History of Roxbury and its noted Personages. Those boundaries include the Christian Science Center, the Prudential Center (built on the old Roxbury Railroad Yards) and everything south and east of the Muddy River including Symphony Hall, Northeastern University, Boston Latin School, John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics & Science, Y.M.C.A., Harvard Medical School and many hospitals and schools in the area. This side of the Muddy River is Roxbury, the other side is Brookline and Boston. Franklin Park, once entirely within Roxbury when Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury and Roslindale were villages within the town of Roxbury until 1854, has been divided with the line between Jamaica Plain and Roxbury located in the vicinity of Peter Parley Road on Walnut Avenue, through the park to Columbia Road. Here, Walnut Avenue changes its name to Sigourney Street, indicating the area is now Jamaica Plain. One side of Columbia Road is Roxbury, the other Dorchester. [elnea Cass Boulevard is located approximately over the Roxbury Canal that brought boats into Roxbury, bypassing the busy port of Boston in the 1830s.
The neighborhood has recently added a new police station improving response time assisting its residents. This facility opened in 2011, and is energy efficient. Also assisting the community are programs such as the Child Services of Roxbury, the youth build Boston programs, and many more. New initiatives by the city of Boston have propelled the neighborhood of Boston to become eco-friendly. There has been development of new E+ buildings. Along with the move into an eco-friendly community, each building is now mandated to provide accessibility to people with handicaps. The neighborhood has also formed community gardens and developed the first urban farm of the city in accordance to the adoption of article 89, Urban Agricultural Ordinance. New construction plans have been approved by boards of the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the construction of the new buildings and rehabilitation of old buildings aim at assisting those in need of affordable housing. Many of these homes are built on the Dudley Street Initiative land trust, this allows the homes to not fall into the market rate, keeping costs low for the people. Moving into new urban policies, there are plans for demolition of older buildings, resulting in construction of more homes in the Dudley section of Roxbury. Boston accepted the urban agriculture ordinance, which is stated in article 89, this provides framework for creating community resources for fresh produce, to be sold at low cost, and also to be donated to programs who help feed those who are in shelters or other care facilities alike. The community of Roxbury has many programs targeted at assisting the youth. There are programs that teach trades, programs that teach acting, different culture aspects and more. There are also many emergency response facilities in Roxbury who help underprivileged children in the area, such as youth centers, and social service centers. The collleges in Roxbury provide services targeted for the community as well, including workshops. The college opens its doors for its MainStage theater to all. When visiting Roxbury one can enjoy museums, parks and recreation centers, hibernian hall, and there is also a film festival held annually. The community is serviced by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the orange line train is a major form of transportation for the residents, with a stop at Roxbury crossing. The silver line at Dudley station is also a major form of transportation for the Roxbury community, connecting the community to the rest of eastern Massachusetts. When visiting Roxbury one can enjoy museums, parks and recreation centers, hibernian hall, and there is also a film festival held annually.
- 1 History
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Community Resources
- 4 Education
- 5 Entertainment
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Notable residents
- 8 Sites of interest
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony established a series of six villages in 1630. The village of Roxbury (originally called "Rocksberry" for the rocks in its soil that made early farming a challenge,) has long been noted for its hilly geography and many large outcroppings of Roxbury puddingstone, which was quarried for many years and used in the foundations of a large number of houses in the area.
The town is located where Boston was previously connected to mainland Massachusetts by a narrow isthmus called Boston Neck or alternately, Roxbury Neck. (Boston has since land-filled around the area so that Boston is no longer located on an isthmus.) Since all initial land traffic to Boston had to pass through Roxbury, it became an important town. Originally, it was home to a number of early leaders of the colony, including original Massachusetts Bay Colony treasurer William Pynchon, who left Roxbury in 1636 with nearly one third its men to found Springfield, Massachusetts on far less rocky and more arable soil. Later, Roxbury was home to colonial governors Thomas Dudley, William Shirley, Increase Sumner. The Shirley-Eustis House, built at Roxbury during the period 1747–1751, is one of only four remaining Royal Colonial Governors' mansions in the United States.
The settlers of Roxbury originally comprised the congregation of the First Church of Roxbury, established in 1632. During this time the church served not only as a place of worship but as a meeting place for government. The congregation had no time to raise a meeting house the first winter and so met with the neighboring congregation in Dorchester. One of the early leaders of this church was Amos Adams, and among the founders were Richard Dummer and his wife Mary. The first meeting house was built in 1632, and the building pictured here is the fifth meeting house, the oldest such wood-frame church in Boston. The Roxbury congregation, still in existence as a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, lays claim to the historical founding—along with five other local congregations, i.e., Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, Charlestown and Dorchester—of Harvard College. Also, the First Church of Roxbury was the starting point for William Dawes' "Midnight Ride", April 18, 1775 (in a different direction from that of Paul Revere) to warn Lexington and Concord of the British raids during the Revolutionary War.
Population growth in Massachusetts led to Roxbury initially being included within Suffolk County at its formation on May 10, 1643. Due to demographic and economic differences between Boston and its nascent suburbs, on March 26, 1793 Roxbury was included when Norfolk County was established. As the industrial revolution continued Roxbury became more integrated with Boston, leading to its annexation by Boston and return to Suffolk County.
In 1868, Lower Roxbury, an ethnically diverse area that is part of the Roxbury neighborhood, was annexed to Boston. While it was politically and geographically isolated from Boston at the time of the annexation, Roxbury was the primary industrial area of the city. The upperclass society of Boston resided in the Highlands while the working class ethnic society consisting of Irish, German, Europeans, Jews and African Americans inhabiting Lower Roxbury.
Lower Roxbury was once the name of the thriving area from Dudley Street to Tremont Street with bustling businesses up and down Ruggles Street. Around 1965, one side of Ruggles Street was small shops and the other side was decorated with tenement style and single family housing. At the corner of Douglas Square and Tremont Street was one notable shop called People's Market; the first supermarket in Boston located in a black area. In 1986, Lower Roxbury was included in the ten districts that attempted to secede from the city of Boston and become a separate city. The Greater Roxbury Incorporation Project sought to create a 12.5 square-mile city that included the entirety of Roxbury and Mattapan as well as portions of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Fenway, Columbia Point and the South End that was to be called "Mandela" after Nelson Mandela.  In 1988, a referendum was defeated that would have examined the feasibility of reincorporation because the organizers of the movement believed that the area would flourish if they could create their own government that would not discriminate against minorities.
As Roxbury developed in the 19th century, the northern part became an industrial town with a large community of English, Irish, and German immigrants and their descendants, while the majority of the town remained agricultural and saw the development of some of the first streetcar suburbs in the United States. This led to the incorporation of the old Roxbury village as one of Massachusetts's first cities, and the rest of the town was established as the town of West Roxbury.
In the early 20th century, Roxbury became home to recent immigrants; a thriving Jewish community developed around Grove Hall, along Blue Hill Avenue, Seaver Street and into Dorchester along Columbia Road. A large Irish population also developed, with many activities centered around Dudley Square, which just before and following annexation into Boston, became a central location for Roxbury commerce. Following a massive migration from the South to northern cities in the 1940s and 1950s, Roxbury became the center of the African-American community in Boston. The center of African American residential and social activities in Boston had formerly been on the north slope of Beacon Hill and the South End. In particular, a riot in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. resulted in stores on Blue Hill Avenue being looted and eventually burned down, leaving a desolate and abandoned landscape which discouraged commerce and business development. Rampant arson in the 1970s along the Dudley Street corridor also added to the neighborhood's decline, leaving a landscape of vacant, trash filled lots and burned out buildings. In early April 1987, the original Orange Line MBTA route along Washington Street was closed and relocated to the Southwest Corridor (where the Southwest Expressway was supposed to be built a couple decades before). More recently, grassroots efforts by residents have been the force behind revitalizing historic areas and creating Roxbury Heritage State Park.
A movement known as the Greater Roxbury Incorporation Project, led by Roxbury residents Andrew Jones and Curtis Davis, sought to form an independent municipality out of the Roxbury and the Mattapan area. The project was part of a larger goal to increase the amount of services available to residents, but in 1986 Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn rejected the idea. The area was to be named "Mandela" (after South African activist Nelson Mandela).
The Boston Transportation Planning Review stimulated relocation of the Orange Line, and development of the Southwest Corridor Park spurred major investment, including Roxbury Community College at Roxbury Crossing and Ruggles Center at Columbus Avenue and Ruggles Street. Commercial development now promises reinvestment in the form of shopping and related consumer services. The Fort Hill section experienced significant gentrification when college students (many from Northeastern University and Wentworth Institute of Technology), artists, and young professionals moved into the area in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the present day, there is much commercial and residential redevelopment. In 2014, a new tech-incubator called Smarter in the City launched its initiative to encourage growth in Roxbury by cultivating startups in Dudley Square.
Currently the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has cited twelve projects approved for construction in the neighborhood of Roxbury. The BRA project in Dudley square calls for the demolition of a ten unit building on Hampden St. and the rehabilitation of two buildings. The final project will have 42 units available for affordable housing, with units ranging from one to four bedrooms. This construction of Dudley will revamp the look of the community. To improve the communities energy efficiency E+ buildings are beginning to develop in the neighborhoods of Boston. In April 2014, on Highland street the construction of the first E+ building in Roxbury was awarded the LEED platinum award. The building is part of the "Boston E+ Green Building Program"  In 2013, the city of Boston accepted the urban agriculture ordinance, which is stated in article 89. The neighborhood of Roxbury is grounds for the first urban farm and is larger than 12,000 ft. The farm opened in July 2014. The Dudley Street Initiative,is an organization developed in 1984 servicing Roxbury and North Dorchester who focuses on community empowerment, through educating the residents of the community. The DSNI is composed of thirty five board of directors.The board of directors are made up of 16 residents which are African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean, and white, also there are 2 additional appointed residents, 4 youth representatives, 7 non profit agencies, 2 churches, 2 businesses and 2 CDCs'. The DSNI has 225 housing units on their land trusts currently. The DSNI land trust allows for the sales of low income housing. The sale of the homes remain for those with low-income as a result of the DSNI land trust housing units. In the next decade the DSNI plans to build 250 new homes in what is known as the Dudley Triangle. Roxbury is subject to article 80, a checklist for projects large and small to comply with people with disabilities. The article also includes, "improvements for pedestrian and vehicular circulation... new buildings and public spaces to be designed to enhance and preserve Boston's system of parks, squares, walkways, and active shopping streets, ensure that person with disabilities have full access...afford such persons the educational, employment, and recreational opportunities available to all citizens... and preserve and increase the supply of living space accessible to person with disabilities."
"Today Roxbury is home to a diverse community which includes African American, Hispanic, and Asian families, along with young professionals". According to the American Community Survey prepared by the Boston Redevelopment between 2007-2011 the Roxbury neighborhood has an approximate total population of 45,829 people. There are 21,116 males (46.1%) and 24,713 females (53.9%). Of the total population 33,182 (72.4%) are not Hispanic or Latino. White alone makes up 3,695 (8.1%) of the total population. There are 26,081 (56.9%) Black or African American people in the neighborhood of Roxbury. Asian alone is a total of 1,345 people (2.9%). Two or more races were reported by 1054 people (2.3%). Hispanic or Latino was reported by 12,647 people (27.6%). Of the total population survey conducted 31.2%-14,242 were ages 19 and under. 6,523-14.2% reported being 60 years and older. Of the 45,829 surveyed 42,571 were over the age of five, the language spoken at home was recorded. Between the ages of 5-17 (8,898,20.9% of total population), 5,086 speak only English (57.2%), 2,508 (28.2%) speak Spanish. Between the ages of 18-64 (29,296-68.8% of total population) 17,040 (58.2%) speak only English. In this age group 7,440 (25.4%) speak spanish, and 2,696 (9.2%) speak other indo European languages. Those surveyed who were 65 years and over (4,377-10.3% of total population) have 3,184 (72.7%) people that speak English at home, and 784 (17.9%) reported speaking Spanish at home. Educational attainment for the population 25 years and over was also surveyed. Of the 26,202, 19,744 (75.3%) reported earning a high school diploma,ged, or alternative and higher. Of the 26,202, 5379 (20.5%) reported having earned a bachelor degree or higher.
The Green house garden is a program that assists low income families in obtaining fresh produce. The garden is a Roxbury community initiative to battle obesity rates. The Program is powered by two hundred volunteers who assist in planting the produce as well as maintenance.The Project Food is also a resource in the Roxbury community. This program also helps with growing produce to help serve the community in farmers markets as well as donations to hunger relief organizations. The Project Food program works with around 120 teenagers a year and also benefits from the help of volunteers. The BCYF (Boston Center for Youth and Families) Shelburne Community Center serves the Roxbury community. This community resource provides basketball leagues, classes (computer, digital media, martial arts etc.), physical fitness, teen mentoring and more. BCYF is an integral component to the Youth Standing Strong Against Violence program in partnership with the Boston Police Department. The BCYF mission statement reads “The mission of Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is to enhance the quality of life of Boston’s residents by partnering with various organizations to offer a wide range of comprehensive programs and activities according to neighborhood needs and interests.” The center is located at 2730 Washington Street, Roxbury Ma.The neighborhood of Roxbury opened a new area B-2 police station. The building is energy efficient and has state of the art technology to better equip the police in serving the Roxbury community.The mission of the police department is community policing. The new police station opened on August 1, 2011. The police department created a team for woman to play basketball, it is led by deputy of the police department and invites women to play basketball. The team played against AAU all girls team coached by one of the officer of the department. In their mission to create solid bonds in the community and show positive role models. The team plays at the Reggie Lewis Center at the Roxbury Community College. Project R.I.G.H.T is another community resource afforded to the Roxbury community. This organization is focused on connecting its community residents to matters of community stabilization and economic growth. Project R.I.G.H.T has teamed up with the Boston Public Health Commission, to "develop numerous programs that focus on substance abuse, eliminating health disparities, infectious disease control, neighborhood wellness and BPHC's Violence, Intervention and Prevention program." The ExtraHelp program is also based in Roxbury, where it conducts it's live recording at the Roxbury Community College. This program is a weekly television show that helps the student residents with questions, homework, as well as help preparing for the MCAS tests. The student members of the community can call or email the teachers. Programs air on Tuesdays during the fall and winter. Adding to the focus on the youth Roxbury is also home to the Child Services of Roxbury. This program intends to assist troubled youth and also their families. This branch was created specifically to assist children that were living with substance abusing parents. The program has been efficient in decreasing risk factors for the youth by maintaining its family focused assistance. They provide early education services,behavioral health services, youth and family services, and housing services. The Youth Build Boston program has a branch located at 27 Centre St, it has been a resource for the community of Roxbury for 25 years, starting in 1995. This program teaches young people trades and allows them to take on projects. It serves underprivileged children in the community with classes and workshops. The programs focus on 16 year olds up to 24 year olds.
Primary and secondary schools
Students in Roxbury are served by Boston Public Schools (BPS). BPS assigns students based on preferences of the applicants and priorities of students in various zones. Roxbury contains Boston Latin Academy, a 7-12 secondary school and one of the city's three exam schools. Roxbury Preparatory Charter School is a public charter school that serves Grades 6-8 in the Roxbury neighborhood of Mission Hill. Roxbury Charter High Public School is located elsewhere in the area.
Roxbury is also home to Roxbury Latin School, founded in 1645, which is one of the nation's top-ranked private preparatory schools for boys in grades 7-12.
Colleges and universities
Roxbury is home to Roxbury Community College,"Roxbury Community College is a co-educational public institution of higher education offering Associate Degrees and certificate programs. RCC's primary objective is to provide residents of the Commonwealth, specifically those individuals living in the greater Boston area, optimum opportunity for access to a college education consistent with their interests and aptitudes and to reduce to a minimum economic, social, psychological and academic barriers to educational opportunity." Beginning in the Fall semester from academic school year 2011-2013 Roxbury Community College has had an average female enrollment of 1761, and an average male enrollment of 868 in credit courses. Through the years 2011-2013, the school has had an average of 1253 black students, 10 Native-American Indian students, 52 Asian American students, 426 Latino students, 167 White, 10 non-resident alien, and 710 students enrolled reported their ethnicity unknown. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME)opened in 1976 at Twelfth Baptist Church. The campus has over 400 students. To accommodate the diversity of the school, "classes are taught in English, Spanish, French Creole and Portuguese, with occasional classes in American Sign Language". The Roxbury campus is represented by students of 21 different nationalities and 39 denominations. The college is located at 90 Warren St. in Roxbury, Ma. Emmanuel College's spiritual retreat center. This center offers spiritual education to all staff and students for no charge. The center is designed to promote a relationship with god and explore your own spirituality. Further, The Eastern Nazarene College offers Adult Studies/LEAD classes in Roxbury.
Boston Public Library operates the Dudley Branch Library in Roxbury. The branch, which opened in April 1978, replaced the Mount Pleasant Branch, a library branch, and the Fellowes Athenaeum, a privately endowed facility. Next to the Dudley Branch Library is the Dudley Literacy Center which assists patrons who are learning English as a second language. It is the largest public library literacy center in the Boston Public Library system. The Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library, which was formerly located on Crawford Street since 1971, is now located at 41 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester/Roxbury. The Branch is in a new facility that opened in April, 2009.
Roxbury is home to the Hibernian Hall. The hall was built in 1913. In it's early stages the hall served as a social center for the Irish community. It closed down for a number of years and later reopened in 2005 after the building was purchased by the MPDC. It now serves many different purposes including being a center for the arts and culture. Members of the center perform plays, musicals, and also have dance parties. The center is located on 184 Dudley Street, Suite 102.
Also based in the neighborhood of Robury is the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAA). "Dedicated to the celebration, exhibition, collection, and criticism of black visual heritage worldwide"  This museum is composed of contemporary and historical arts. Collections of the museum range from, "African, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean, and African American." NCAAA is located at 300 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury, MA.
Located in Roxbury is also the MainStage theater. A component of Roxbury Community College. This theater provides workshops for students and kids in the community. They also have public plays open to all. Also, public speakers visit the theater for open to the public speeches. The theater is located at 1234 Columbus Ave. Roxbury, MA.
The Roxbury Film Festival is held annually in the neighborhood of Roxbury. The festival is aimed at supporting independent film makers in the Boston community. The festival was started in 1999 and was formely known as the Dudley Film Festival, it was later changed to encompass all of Roxbury. The festival supports films with people of color or people of color who have created the films. For about four days, many different films are screened, to date more than 600 films have been screened at the festival. The mission statement for the film follows: " Our mission is to support diverse filmmakers and provide an opportunity for audiences to view the works of these filmmakers, and experience stories often overlooked in mainstream media."  Along with screening of new independent films, the film festival also provides workshops for artists to come together and share ideas as well as learn new methods.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), is a public transportation who includes services to the Roxbury community. The subway and bus lines are both MBTA services. The orange subway line stops at Roxbury crossing. This stop on the orange line has 16 bike spaces, but has no public parking. Riders usually use street parking or private parking if available for use. This stop is accessible to handicap riders providing elevators and also has escalators for riders convenience. The stop is located at "1400 Tremont Street, west of 1200 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury." The Silver line also stops in the neighborhood of Roxbury at the Dudley Square Station. This station is street level so no special accessibility exist or is required. There is also no public parking for this station, riders park in public streets or private areas if able. Fare for the subway is $2.10 for single time uses for the subway and $1.60 for bus single time ride. Weekly and monthly unlimited passes are also available. Buses throughout the Boston neighborhoods go through the Roxbury neighborhood. The buses that ride through the Roxbury neighborhood are, bus lines 15,19,22,23,25,28,42,44,45,66,1,8,10,14,15,19,23,28,41,42,44,45,47,66,170 and 171. These bus lines connect the Roxbury neighborhood to neighboring towns and cities throughout eastern Massachusetts.
- Irving Ashby (1920–1987) jazz guitarist
- Ruth Batson (1921–2003), civil rights and education activist
- Susan Batson, actress, daughter of Ruth Batson
- Ricky Bell (born 1967), Member of R&B group New Edition formed in Boston in 1978
- Michael Bivins, Member of R&B group New Edition formed in Boston in 1978
- Nathaniel Jeremiah Bradlee (1829–1888), architect
- Edward Brooke (born 1919), U.S. senator, first African American elected to Senate in the 20th century
- Bobby Brown (born 1969), Member of R&B group New Edition formed in Boston in 1978
- Alan Dawson (1929–1996), famous jazz drummer and percussion teacher, grew up in Roxbury
- Henry Dearborn (1751–1829), physician, general, U.S. representative, U.S. Secretary of War
- Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn (1783–1851), U.S. representative, mayor of Roxbury, son of Henry Dearborn.
- Ronnie DeVoe, Member of R&B group New Edition formed in Boston in 1978
- Joseph Dudley (1647–1720), colonial governor of Massachusetts, son of Thomas Dudley
- Thomas Dudley (1576–1653), colonial governor of Massachusetts
- Ed O.G. (born 1970), hip hop artist, founder of Da Bulldogs, named an album after Roxbury.
- John Eliot (1604–1690), minister, Bible translator, founder of Roxbury Latin School
- Gustavus Esselen (1888–1952), chemist, born in Roxbury
- William Eustis (1753–1825), governor of Massachusetts, owner of Shirley-Eustis House in Roxbury
- Louis Farrakhan (born 1933), Nation of Islam leader, activist, raised in Roxbury
- Mark Frechette (1947–1975), film actor, Zabriskie Point
- The G-Clefs, Top 40 Soul Group
- William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879), journalist, abolitionist, lived in Roxbury the last 15 years of his life
- Charles Dana Gibson (1867–1944), illustrator
- Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793–1860), author, state legislator
- Diane Guerrero (born 1986), Actress
- Guru (1961–2010), rapper, member/founder of Gang Starr
- Edward Everett Hale (1822–1909), author, reformer, Unitarian clergyman
- Roy Haynes (born 1925), jazz drummer and bandleader
- Elma Lewis (1921–2004), arts educator, founder of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA)
- Mel Lyman (1938–1978), harmonica player, cult leader
- Nelson Merced, state legislator, Latino activist
- Shabazz Napier, NBA player
- Patrice O'Neal (1969–2011), comedian, actor.
- Louis Prang (1824–1909), printer, lithographer and publisher
- William Pynchon (1590–1662), founder of Roxbury and Springfield, Massachusetts
- Sylvester H. Roper (1823–1896), inventor
- Nathaniel Ruggles (1761–1819), U.S. representative.
- Byron Rushing, state legislator, activist
- Kenneth Kamal Scott (born 1940), singer, dancer, actor, nephew of Irving Ashby.
- Ebenezer Seaver (1763–1844), U.S. representative.
- William Shirley (1694–1771), colonial governor of Massachusetts, built Shirley-Eustis House in Roxbury
- Aafia Siddiqui, neuroscientist, alleged Al-Qaeda operative, Roxbury resident 1995-2001
- Ebenezer Stevens (1751–1823), American Revolution activist, officer
- Sonny Stitt (1924–1982), jazz saxophonist
- John L. Sullivan (1858–1918), boxing heavyweight champion, born in Roxbury
- Donna Summer (1948–2012), R&B Star, "Queen of Disco"
- Increase Sumner (1746–1799), governor of Massachusetts
- Ralph Tresvant (born 1968), Member of R&B group New Edition formed in Boston in 1978
- Darius Walker, CNN Vice President and New York bureau chief, lived in Roxbury for several years as a youth
- Jimmy Walker (1944–2007), professional basketball guard
- Joseph Warren (1741–1775), physician, Revolutionary major general
- Tony Williams (1945–1997), famous jazz drummer, grew up in Roxbury
- Malcolm X (1925–1965), Nation of Islam minister and activist, founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, spent formative years in Roxbury.
Sites of interest
- Franklin Park Zoo
- Shirley-Eustis House
- John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics & Science
- Roxbury Historic Markers
- Dudley Square
- Roxbury Film Festival
- St. Joseph's Church
- West Roxbury
- Former Mayors of Roxbury
- Roxbury High Fort
- Boston Latin Academy
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- "An Interview with Gloria Fox". Lower Roxbury Black History Project. Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). 4 March 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
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- Hub Hails Mandel, Boston Sunday Herald, June 24,1990
- Nonprofit incorporation papers for Greater Roxbury Incorporation Project, Inc., 9/29/1986
- Jordan, Robert (15 November 1985). "Flynn Rejects Referendum on Roxbury Secession". The Boston Globe (Boston, MA).
- Overbea, L.Boston black community ponders secession, The Christian Science Monitor, November 25, 1985, accessed 12/13/2014
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- "City Officials, Homeowners, and Developer Celebrate LEED Platinum Dedication for E+ Homes in Roxbury". Bostonredevelopmentauthority.org. Boston Redevelopment Authority. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "History". Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative Inc. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "Housing on The Land Trust". DSNI. Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
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- "What We Do". The Food Project. The Food Project. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "About Boston Centers for Youth & Families". City of Boston. City of Boston. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Opening of New LEED Certified Police Station in Roxbury". CityofBoston.gov. City of Boston. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "BPD Unveils its All-Women’s Hoop Team - Women in Blue!!!". Boston Police. Boston Police Department. April 27, 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Overview". Project R.I.G.H.T Inc. Project Right, Inc. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "ExtraHelp". Boston Neighborhood Network. Boston Neighborhood Network. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "About us". Children Services of Roxbury. Childrens Services of Roxbury. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "About us". Youth Build Boston. Youth Build Boston. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Student Assignment Policy." Boston Public Schools. Retrieved on April 15, 2009.
- "Boston Latin Academy". Boston Public Schools. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
- "Roxbury High School students." The Ten O'Clock News at Open Vault WGBH-TV. September 13, 1978. Retrieved on April 16, 2009.
- "About". RCC.mass.edu. Roxbury Community College. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Fall Students Enrolled in Credit Courses by Gender". Rcc.mass.edu. Roxbury Community College. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "About the Boston Campus". Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Dudley Branch Library." Boston Public Library. Retrieved on May 23, 2010.
- "About". Hibernian Hall. Madison Park Development Corporation. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "The Museum". The Museum of NCAAA. NCAAA. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Mainstage Theater At Roxbury Community College". Mainstage Theater. Roxbury Community College. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "History". Roxbury International Film Festival. The Color of Film Collaborative. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "Schedules and Maps". MBTA. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Fineman, Howard and Vern E. Smith. "Article: An angry 'charmer.' (Louis Farrakhan)(includes related article)(Cover Story)." Newsweek. October 30, 1995. Retrieved on June 18, 2009.
-  The William Lloyd Garrison House
- "Founding father of the sweet science." The Irish Times. Wednesday October 29, 2008. Retrieved on June 18, 2009.
- Morse, Steve. "A WARM HOMECOMING FOR DONNA SUMMER." The Boston Globe. July 24, 1990. Retrieved on June 18, 2009.
- Walker Becomes CNN NY Bureau Chief - TVNewser. Mediabistro.com (2007-07-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
- Helfer, Andrew; Randy DuBurke (2006). Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography. New York: Hill and Wang. p. 40. ISBN 0-8090-9504-1.
- Roxbury Directory. Roxbury: John Backup. 1858; 1866.
- "Historical Sketch of Boston Highlands", Mercantile Publishing Company, Boston, 1888. There is much information on Roxbury.
- Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell (1997), Roxbury, Images of America, Dover, N.H.: Arcadia, OL 287718M
- City of Boston & Boston Redevelopment Authority, "Roxbury Strategic Master Plan", 2004
- Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell; Rosenberg, Charlie, Roxbury, Arcadia Publishing, Then & Now series, 2007
- Roxbury History—Boston Landmarks Commission (2007 archived version)
- Born before plastic: stories from Boston's most enduring neighborhoods; North End, Roxbury, and South Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA: City of Boston and Grub Street, Inc., 2007
- Media related to Roxbury, Boston at Wikimedia Commons
- 1832 Map of the Town of Roxbury - Jamaica Plain Historical Society
- 1832 Map of Roxbury by John G. Hales at the BPL.
- 1849 Map of Roxbury by Charles Whitney at the BPL.
- 1868 Map of Roxbury and Boston by E.P.Dutton at the BPL.
- 1895 Outline and Ward Index Map of Boston and Roxbury by George and Walter Bromley.
- 1895 Map of Ward 17 Roxbury area of Hampton, Gerand, Allerton, and Mass. Ave showing New England Piano, Mechanics Foundry, and Boston Lead Works at DavidRumsey.com .
- 1895 Atlas of Boston and Roxbury links to the Roxbury Plates - 19, 20, 21, and 31-45.
- Bailey Co. Map—1888 bird's-eye view map of Roxbury area
Northeastern University Archives
- The La Alianza Hispana records, 1960-1999 (bulk 1975-1995) are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
- The Lower Roxbury Community Corporation records, 1968-1978 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
- The Roxbury Multi-Service Center records, 1965-2002 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.
- The Lower Roxbury Black History Project records, 2007-2009 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA.