If you're black in America, race is a factor in your life. Start with that assumption.
Everybody needs history but the people who need it most are poor folks - people without resources or options.
Food might be more immediately important than history but if you don't understand what's been done to you - by your own people and the so-called 'they' - you can never get around it.
On the one hand, there is no reason that a black person needs to live a portion of his or her life being concerned about the people of color around him. On the other hand, if you don't you're crazy.
We don't have a full black community in Boston. Our people are scattered. There's a middle class where I live in Highland Park but it's not like a piece of Washington or Chicago.
What drives people to public service is a sense of possibility. If you haven't sensed that possibility you don't get started in the same way, you don't feel you can have an impact.
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