How do you hear the local legends in your neighborhood? How do you know if they are right?
I started my own walking singing tour company in the belief that legends were a powerful way to help bring people together to learn from our history. Some of what I learned is in my book Stayed on Freedom’s Call (last week was page 45…):
” … the 1980’s, when the practice was finally prohibited.
“They won’t admit they love us, and so,
how are we ever, to know? They always tell us, Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps…”
4. The site of Pomona: 7714 13th Street, NW Shhh. Don’t tell the local residents, but this was not really the mansion of Boss Shepherd. Lots of long time residents seem to be sure that it was, but this Victorian era home was actually the home of dry goods merchant D. Clagett. Best to just keep on going, and whistle a happy tune…
“How much is that doggie in the window?
How much can that little doggie be…”
5. Shepherd Elementary School: 14th and Kalmia Rd, NW Dedicated in 1932 as
an all White school, in a neighborhood where the houses had covenants prohibiting
their sale to people of color, and now, it is, 1963. Thirty years later, Bobby Kennedy
is standing here giving an award to Marvin Caplan on behalf of Neighbors, Inc. from his brother the President! They say that the North Washington Neighbors, Inc. chapter was emulated as a model for stabilizing integrated neighborhoods in cities all across the country!
This truly is a time when every one of us can join hands and sing, all together:
“We Shall Overcome…”
6. The Shepherd Playground: 15th and Kalmia Rd, NW
It is 1948, and frightening changes are about to come. Will the neighbors stay, now that colored families could move in, or will they go? It is so nice here, close to Rock Creek Park and all of the walking and hiking trails.
“Don’t you let nobody,
Turn you ’round, turn you round, turn you round,
Don’t you let nobody, Turn you ’round,
Walking on the Freedom Trail…”
So, it turns out that I might have needed to explain a bit more about Home Rule in Washington, DC, too…
page 45 was last week,
1.) What are your thoughts on this page? (You can download the entire book for free via the Archive link here…)
2.) Share your thoughts on how this page from Stayed On Freedom’s Call helps continuing empathy-building cooperation, and may also help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.
3.) Write a book, story, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts.
Click here to read, if you like:
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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.