Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

‘Roxbury’ digs at the poignant issue of discriminatory housing in the community

Suffolk professor Daniel Weidknecht debuted his newest short film “Roxbury” at Modern Theater Nov.29.

Roxbury,” a documentary film directed by Suffolk University staff and faculty member Daniel Weidknecht, debuted at Suffolk University’s Modern Theatre Nov. 29.

The 31-minute film focused on Roxbury’s residents who have struggled to beat discriminatory housing policies.

The partnership between Suffolk Law School’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program and the College of Arts & Sciences Media Studies Department conveyed moving and emotional stories through Roxbury residents.

“Roxbury” featured people who reside in the Boston neighborhood, from store owners to CEOs whose main focus is to uplift Roxbury residents and other important officials. Weidknecht’s film is a touching piece of art that bridges the gap between Roxbury’s struggles and the general public of Boston.

For a long time, the neighborhood of Roxbury has been home to many people of color, and problems have arisen with gentrification in the area, forcing long-time residents to lose their homes, stores and properties. 

A part of the film particularly featured residents having the feeling of being out of place in their own community. Since new, predominantly white, neighbors are moving into Roxbury, a feeling of displacement hangs over some residents. 

The only way to explain the true emotion behind this film is to simply watch it. Weidknecht perfectly captures the annoyance, anger and emotions of bitterness of the housing crisis among residents.

The film’s main goal is to inform the public about Roxbury’s current issues, but also use it as a teaching tool in classrooms for professors to have a conversation about fair housing in and around Boston. 

After the viewing at the Modern Theatre, a panel discussion was held with Weidknecht, Madison Park Development Corporation CEO Leslie Reid, Director of Investigations and Outreach for HDTP Kelly Vieira and Nijeri Ngugi, who was featured in the movie along with Reid.

Madison Park Development is a non-profit dedicated to finding affordable housing for low-income residents. It is the first community-based non-profit in the nation to dedicate its mission to finding affordable housing for low-income residents. 

The panel included a set list of questions, but Reid started with a land acknowledgment and followed with her enjoyment on how the film connects housing, the law and communications. She expressed her joy in making the movie.

Ngugi said that the importance of this film was to educate those who do not know about the housing crisis. She said that for so long, Black Americans and non-white residents have been forced out in society and it is clearly seen through inheritances, but now they are being taken away whether that would be a home, a story or a significant building. 

Weidknecht’s film is truly a documentary to see.

For those unfamiliar with the housing crisis, “Roxbury” explains the emotion and shows the residents behind this real issue. The film is a work of educational art and watching it takes a dive into the heart of the problem. 

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About the Contributor
William Fithian, Staff Writer | he/him

William is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When he is not writing for the Journal, he's usually trying new foods around Boston and exploring the city with his friends.

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