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Thoughtful Thursdays, Stayed on Freedom with the Call of Freedom, Institutions, and Community Emotional Health

Who can say what a community loses when members feel obliged to hide, or to leave the community due to persecution from the larger majority?  Both the Black community and the Jewish community here in the United States have felt these pressures, and both communities have worked together to aid one another, years ago.

So, how do we each help our society to become more fully inclusive for all of us today, and to come and work together, for all of us?

I believe that attention to shared histories of institution building in DC helped, may provide part of an answer.  I started a note about that, a few years ago, in my book Stayed on Freedom’s Call:

” … conductor on the Underground Railroad. Jewish families sometimes switched from Ohev Shalom to the reform Washington Hebrew Congregation in order “to
be more American.”   Most members of the Negro community did not have that option. White-only establishments often hired “spotters” -people of color from
the local community- to point out colored patrons with light skin, attempting to enter. The recognition that both Jews and Negroes had to create their own
institutions, from free loan societies and banks to Jewish Community Centers and social halls like True Reformers Hall, deepens the connection between them. Cooperation in other areas built ties that would eventually lead to the
well-known actions of the later Civil Rights era in the 1960́s.

Kann’s And Morton’s

After the end of the Reconstruction, colored patrons were not allowed to try on clothing in department stores, nor even to eat comfortably, from the 1890 …


Page 18″

So, it turns out that I might have needed to explain a bit more about the “spotters” in the city, and maybe also about the Reform movement in Judaism, on this page.  Some fresh reviews would help me decide that specific.

Page seventeen was last week…

Action Items:

1.) What are your thoughts on shared community spaces, like department stores and how those spaces might provide emotional health and safety uplift for all of us?

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how continuing empathy-building cooperation might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this

GoodReads button: Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC,  Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plan Book):


Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(The last GED lesson 67/67 , and the first lesson 1/67…), and

Babylon 5 review posts (online, offline: B5EpsThr15), and

Baby Acres: a Vision of a Better World (posts listed at bottom of page…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.


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Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

21 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursdays, Stayed on Freedom with the Call of Freedom, Institutions, and Community Emotional Health

  1. It is sad when community members feel a need to hide or leave.

    The detail about spotters and thus the degree of enforcement is interesting and sad.

    I think perhaps more info on the different shuls is helpful. Without this, it is hard to know why the move from one synagogue to another is significant.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for this comment, Sheila: sorry for the delay in replying, as it got caught in my Spam box for some reason, and then I had to go find it after approving it!
      Yes, I often see this, too, and have also experienced it: triggers tend to shut us down in many ways, but if each party is communicating with empathy, then that should be noticed, in theory.

      Liked by 1 person

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