The call came into the police station in the late afternoon of Friday, June 2, around the time government offices were closing for the weekend. One office, on Blue Hill Avenue, couldn’t send its employees home. They were barricaded inside with 50 protestors, mostly mothers, who were demanding a better life for their children.
The southernmost blocks of Blue Hill Avenue had just barely escaped redlining three decades earlier. The Boston maps complained that the neighborhood was “predominantly Jewish,” but with no Black population, it only earned a C grade. By 1967, the “Negro infiltration” had crossed the red line and traveled all the way down Blue Hill until it dead-ended at Franklin Park. The locals had taken to calling it “Civil Rights Row.”