My friend Ellen asked me if it was hard to come up with material for the blog, and to write so frequently. I responded that it’s not so hard most of the time, but there are definitely days I have no idea of what I’m going to write about.
Early on, I had a lot to say, a lot I had already written about my growing up, and the way I was able to connect across colorlines as a young girl, teen, and into my twenties. But, now that I have written a good deal about my past, I feel I have to look to news and ideas that are current, that aren’t always looking backward, and more importantly, that show my present day-to-day striving to connect across colorlines here in Providence, Rhode Island, where I have lived for the past five years.
Only problem is, I haven’t done much connecting. Providence is a very diverse city; it’s population represented with diverse groups of people from Portugal, Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Liberia, Nigeria, the Azores and beyond. Yet, I don’t know exactly why, but connecting with diverse peoples on a more personal level has seemed out of reach for me.
It seemed easier for me in other places to gain a sense of where certain communities of people lived, shopped, and ate. Perhaps I used to be more adventurous; more of an explorer. Maybe being a mother of two pre-teen daughters means I’m spending more time being their chauffeur, and not enough time expanding my horizons.
Where does the black community live here? Or, is the community spread out over many neighborhoods? I know of the Mt. Hope neighborhood on the East Side of Providence, but I don’t really know of other neighborhoods. And, who are the faces of black Providence?What are their stories?
What’s a white blogger with an obsession about race relations to do?
I have to become the explorer again. I need to connect with people who are black that I do know here and have them teach me about Providence and black culture and local black history. I need them to help me connect with others that I don’t yet know. I need to start collecting and sharing stories.
I’m excited just thinking about all the good things that will come from making new connections. Thanks for listening. I hope to share some new Providence stories very soon!