BPA Statement of Solidarity: Black Lives Matter

| June 3, 2020

Submitted by the Boston Preservation Alliance

Boston Preservation Alliance stands united with the voices decrying the murder of George Floyd and the long-standing history of racism this tragedy demonstrates. As an organization that considers how the historic places of our city contribute to our contemporary lives, we feel strongly that being inclusive in the history we teach and the historic places we celebrate affects how we frame and understand contemporary events. Our history and how we talk about it impacts how we act today and moving forward.

William Monroe Trotter’s house

We pledge to use our platform to share a more holistic, honest, and inclusive history. This includes representing the history of all neighborhoods, and to bring to the foreground underrepresented stories of communities of color, which are as significant and empowering as those with which many are more familiar. Our challenges today are integrally connected with our past, and the best way to overcome them is to openly and honestly explore them.

As an example, this is an image of William Monroe Trotter’s house in Dorchester. Few know about it and its history even though it’s of national importance. Trotter founded the Boston Guardian in 1901 as a platform to speak out against racial injustices. He often criticized America’s institutional racism and discriminatory practices and co-founded the Niagara Movement, the immediate predecessor to the NAACP. He actively protested for civil rights up until his death in 1934.

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