Picture from New York Times March 16, 2014
Recently the annual Boston Saint Patricks Day celebration was held. You had the traditional “breakfast” and parade with an undercurrent of discord. One such element of tension revolved around whether the gay community should be allowed to participate in the parade. That was a controversy in which many had no interest in.
However, what was somewhat interesting was the little “tiff” about who should host/moderate the “breakfast” that was held. Traditionally both events have been run by and held in the historically Irish stronghold of South Boston. The host presiding over the event has been a white male and state senator who presided over that district. An example would be former State Senator William Bulger, Whitey Bulger’s brother, who ran the show for many years. Ironically there was a void last year when former State Senator Jack Hart stepped down and then district city councilor William Linehan filled in.
Now fast forward to 2014. An Afrikan/Black woman, then State Representative Linda Dorcena-Forry ran for the state senate seat and won. Of course the question was raised as to who would now host the “breakfast?” While discussion revolved around what white male should take on the role, Dorcena-Forry declared that her ascendancy meant she should have the right to host. William Linehan wanted to return, but Ms. Dorcena-Forry prevailed. Now was this a victory for the Afrikan/Black community? Absolutely NOT!
There has been a lot of talk about the “new Boston.” The reality is that we as Afrikan/Black people still reside in a racist city! In South Boston bricks were thrown at our children during “busing,” now racist thought and action is contrived behind brick walls in downtown Boston and beyond. Do not fool yourself into believing there is a new day in this city. I noticed a number of folks from our community at the “breakfast,” grinning and smiling. We continue to participate in events that we are not wanted with the hope that white folks will start to love us and accept us in our Black skin. That is not the reality and will never happen. Let the Irish have their day to celebrate their heritage as it should be!
In closing, I strongly suggest that State Senator Dorcena-Forry, who I have never been seen at Kwanzaa, and others, take the same energy they put into wanting to celebrate Irish heritage and bring themselves home to their Afrikan “self.” Kwanzaa 2014-2015 will soon be upon us and you are urged to participate in a celebration of “your” Afrikan heritage and sincerely be welcome and treated like family, which w