By : The Lucy Parsons Collective
5 min read
The Lucy Parsons Center is moving from Hyde Square to the South End!
In 2011, a UMB professor and longtime supporter of the LPC left the collective a large donation upon his death. At the time, the Lucy Parsons Center collective decided to use that money to buy the 358a Centre St. storefront in Hyde Square. This was a controversial decision, and many people involved with the organization felt excluded from the small, undemocratic process. They disagreed with the decisions to move from the original South End rental and buy real estate in Hyde Square, a neighborhood which has faced active gentrification over the past couple decades. People felt the LPC moving in would exacerbate gentrification.
None of the current members of the collective were involved in these decisions made 10 years ago, but now we have decided to rectify the mistake we believe was made by moving to Hyde Square in the first place. We are moving back to our old space at 549 Columbus Ave in the South End, which had been occupied by MakeShift Boston since we left. Unfortunately, MakeShift closed during the pandemic, so keeping that historically community-driven space functional was the final motivation for us to move back. It is larger, accessible (both physically and transit-wise), and much closer to both the city center and to many schools.
We have been working to pass on the space in Jamaica Plain to SCOPE LLC. We collaborated with SCOPE because they are a local organization run by a majority of people from Jamaica Plain and people of color. As a streetwear brand, record label, and entertainment collaborative, they are driving the style, culture, music, art, and community power in Hyde Square.
We are working out a rent-to-own agreement to sell the storefront to SCOPE. Unlike landlords, we don’t want to involve predatory banks in any real estate this neighborhood profits from. So, we are reaching out to the Boston community to support our fundraiser at tinyurl.com/lpcfunds. The funds will cover ceiling and electrical repairs in the South End space, ultimately sustaining a volunteer-run radical bookstore and community forum for decades to come.
The Lucy Parsons Center collective
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #149 August 2022
Check out all the art and columns of August's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass