Julia Harrington

John Jackson is a self-described “city guy.” He loves that feeling when everything and everyone is constantly moving. Jackson moved to Mission Hill from Alabama in the 1970s with his family. He stayed in the neighborhood for 26 years and worked within the school system. Today, he lives in Jamaica Plain, but still serves a vital role in Mission Hill as the administrative coordinator at the Tobin Community Center.

Jackson described Mission Hill as a “close-knit” community containing a diverse group. Recent development has had a positive impact, but has also led to an expensive housing market.

“Honestly, people are just going to be pushed out of the city. You can see it Mission Hill, you can see it in South Boston, you can see it in Charlestown. If you don’t make a certain amount of money, you’re not going to be able to afford to live in the city of Boston, unless you’re in subsidy housing,” Jackson said.

He serves on the board of the Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services. The board works to provide affordable housing in an otherwise expensive neighborhood, because “folks won’t be able to live here, especially people of color. You can’t ignore that. That’s a fact.”

Having lived in both the South and New England, Jackson also reflected on a specific type of racism that exists here is Boston.

“It’s more subtle. It’s more institutionalized,” Jackson said.

About this project 

The Scope’s student journalists spoke with community members in Mission Hill. #MissionHill100 is a collection of their stories. 

Julia Harrington
harrington.ju@husky.neu.edu

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