mainstream-bound leadership of Black Boston. There was an attitude and element with this group that seemed to differ from the older generation; but I could not put my finger on it. In time it became apparent: The cultural, political, and economic worlds of Black Boston where once much more cohesive and maintained a balance that yielded an urbane and educated community.
It was 1986 when I first arrived in Boston, as a freshman at Boston University. Two things that were made abundantly clear when I took a look at Boston's social structure: 1) Boston was a segregated city. More so than New York; and 2) Boston's Black community had an actual social and economic middle- class that was part of it's social, political and economic leadership. The basic constructs and functional examples of Black Nationalism, Pan- Africanism/ Garveyism were apparent and served as an easy and welcoming world for a young man raised in a middle-class West Indian household.The cautions issued by Boston University during orientations, telling us to steer clear of Roxbury. Dorchester and "the murder capital of Massachusetts"
To an 18 year-old, far from his family in New York (all be it a short bus ride to my people in Mashpee) this city and community would play an integral role in my progression into young adulthood and growth as an artist, teacher and man. Sadly, this world is rapidly disappearing and what is replacing it is gravely lacking the core foundation and leadership to sustain the quality of effort of the past.
(To Be Continued)