Becoming a Historian

My resignation as Founding Director at Community Change, came in 1996, leading me to become a National Park Service Ranger, interpreting history on Boston’s Black Heritage Trail. That experience has become for me that other way to treat my dis-ease. The dynamic of years have pointed me toward the history of our nation. A corollary force has been the urge to localize action and study. Baldwin will not let me go, and insists that I must know the history of racism in my home region.

History commands my attention! Baldwin will not relent! Hughes insists that I answer the question about deferred dreams! Bell points me to “accept the hard fact that all history verifies”! Eliot reminds me never to settle into comfort, because the kingdoms of this dispensation are an alien people clutching false gods! Then comes a host of amazing men, women, black, white, who built a “beloved community” on the north slope of Boston’s Beacon Hill, and who contributed to the Abolition Movement in a depth and breadth of witness which cannot be overestimated for its significance.

A few years ago, I “discovered” Boston’s Black Heritage Trail; in reality it found me, a spirit ready, eager to learn. I had known it was “there”, had heard about it, but then history made its claim on me, demanding that I see that to which I had been blind!
Now that local history has “discovered” me, and I am enriched beyond any measuring.

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