Ben Carson’s childhood memories of Boston: Blood, bullets, and bugs

The Republican presidential candidate recalls his few childhood years in Boston.

Dr. Ben Carson spent part of his childhood years in Boston.
Dr. Ben Carson spent part of his childhood years in Boston. –Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson does not look back fondly on his few years spent in Boston as a child.

Bullets. Blood. Stab wounds. And those giant roaches.

“It was a pretty horrible environment,’’ Carson said in New Hampshire recently, The Boston Globe reports. “I saw people lying in the street with bullet holes, stab wounds.’’

Carson, currently leading in national polling, has told a depressing story about his time living in Dorchester and Roxbury in speeches in New Hampshire and in his 1990 autobiography, Gifted Hands, the Globe reports

When he was eight years old, Carson, his brother, and his mother moved to Boston from Detroit after his parents divorced. They lived with his aunt and uncle from 1959 to 1961 in two homes just off of Blue Hill Avenue in segregated Boston, according to the Globe.


“Boarded up windows and doors. Sirens. Gangs. Murders,’’ Carson said in New Hampshire. “But I think the thing that impressed me the most though were the roaches. They had large aggressive roaches.’’

He made similar descriptions of his time in Boston in an interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for The Root in 2011.

“Our heroes were the drug dealers, who brought candy for the kids. Both of my cousins who lived with us were killed in that environment,’’ Carson said.

You can read the rest of the story at The Boston Globe.

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