Learning from, Not Dwelling in History: 1974-2014

Posted: January 6, 2014 by umnunity in Uncategorized

Happy New Year! It’s  2014 and Boston begins a new era of leadership during this,  the 40th anniversary year of its busing/desegregation crisis. And all this takes place in a time when many are digging deep for new insights for the future that are grounded in knowledge and understanding of the past.

BBDP ended 2013 with some powerful story circles with people who work in and with Boston Public schools in different capacities and who are committed to public school education. A recurring theme is the critical need to learn from the past in order to discover a future that does not unwittingly recreate it. At the same time, we heard a need to be aware of and celebrate the strides that have been made.

There is something powerful that happens when people weave their stories together. Some things that are shared are difficult but people also touch the root of history that binds them to each other and to their every day lived commitment to create something different.

As we listen to the promise of possibility for the new Boston, let’s also practice hearing the wilderness cries that still stand between us and our becoming the city that works for all so many of us imagine and are working to make a reality.

History kind of follows if we don’t unpack it, if we don’t really investigate it because my mother again was a part of the 1974–she has this story about the rocks and I always thought she exaggerated until I learned more. Marcos 

We’ve got to step up our game but in the same breath how do we make people believe in the system? How do we get folks on board to acknowledge the past but change the future? Sue 

It’s funny how with trauma I can sort of block it out and then all of a sudden to hear that and it’s like “well, wait a minute, actually you did have that experience”… I think about history and I think  in the United States in general we don’t tell our history, we don’t tell our full history. Ben 
 When you’re in that system and you’re younger you don’t see the structural things that are at work, that are influencing what your everyday experiences are like so you just see things as they are and it’s hard to connect them to that history and to the structures that are shaping what you’re experiencing.  Anna 

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