Signs . . . Signs . . .
Turn Visible Again
The Transformative Uses of Biography
One summer night not long ago my family and I found ourselves in the midst of a powerful and unusual learning situation. We had been invited for supper and conversation to a small townhouse apartment in Dorchester, one of the Boston area's most troubled and, in some ways, dangerous communities. There we sat together with some of the new, unsung heroes of the continuing movement for compassionate liberation and hope in this country — a group of Afro-American young men and women in their twenties and early thirties. Most of them were either students at or recent graduates of some of the elite colleges and universities of the Boston/ Cambridge area, and, according to the prevailing wisdom of our time, they should have been somewhere else — preferably on a fast, one-way shuttle toward the pleasures of an upwardly mobile Black middle-class life.
Instead, inspired by profound religious convictions and a politically informed social vision, this group of a dozen or so attractive and highly skilled Black young people had decided to turn their lives toward the broken beauty of the Dorchester and Roxbury communities. While continuing their schooling or earning a living with their considerable talents, they have recently formed a community of hope and commitment, dedicated to