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Bowdoin-Geneva

Picture of Steven Wilmsen

Shortly after two teens were shot in 2011 by another boy who mistakenly thought they were part of a rival gang, a group of editors at the Boston Globe met to brainstorm ways to better cover urban gang violence. It was a familiar and vexing issue.

Picture of Steven Wilmsen

On Hendry Street, a new sense of stability is unraveling. On Norton, a gang target plans a peace festival, which police fear will only draw trouble. Nothing is easy in Bowdoin-Geneva, but no one is giving in.

Picture of Steven Wilmsen

There were 19 shootings in Bowdoin-Geneva this year, but no one was killed. Here, that seems a step ahead. But progress, if real, feels like a fragile reed in a garden furrowed deep with promise and pain.

Picture of Steven Wilmsen

Mayhem has a kind of momentum; it can be exhausting to resist. In Bowdoin-Geneva, an anticrime effort flops. And Big Nate explodes. But the peace festival rocks, and a son in jail has started to pray.

Picture of Steven Wilmsen

In the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Boston, violence seems to rise with the heat, but so do a mother’s hopes for her children, and a priest’s quest to connect. Meanwhile, from the weeds, an unlikely garden grows.

Picture of Steven Wilmsen

It’s a neighborhood known for trouble, but the Bowdoin-Geneva area of Boston is much more than that. A Boston Globe team spent a year there, listening and asking why violence persists where love and loyalty also run so strong.

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