Founded in 1630 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roxbury (originally called Rocksberry) was one of the first towns in the state. Roxbury officially became a city in 1846 and was annexed into Boston in 1868, becoming one of the city's most popular neighborhoods. Early on, all land traffic in Boston was forced to pass through Roxbury, making it a thriving town by default.
The neighborhood is bordered by the Muddy River, across which you can see Brookline and Boston proper. Dorchester and Franklin Park comprise the neighborhood's other borders though Franklin Park used to be completely within Roxbury. Some time ago, Ferdinand's Blue Store stood with an elevated train cutting through the building.
Although the neighborhood was once racially diverse, in the 1960s more and more African-American families began to call it home. Roxbury is now almost entirely comprised of African-American residents though there is a smattering of a Puerto Rican population up and coming.
The list of notable residents of Roxbury is a long one and comprised of: Malcolm X, Donna Summer, Jimmy Walker and the members of New Edition. What was once a neighborhood of unrest and danger is quickly becoming a beautiful, safe area thanks, in part, to the efforts of its residents. The city now lays claim to being the 'heart of Black culture in Boston'; and rightfully so.