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Spring is a season of renewal and rebirth. After the frigid winter months, spring arrives with vitality, growth, hope, and brighter days ahead. This spring, I had an inspiring opportunity to visit the Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill in Boston, Massachusetts with my daughter, Aimalohi Ahonkhai Nottidge, MD. We learned from our incredible tour guide about the Black Heritage Trail, a unique walking tour established during the Civil Rights movement in the 20th century to display some pioneering African Americans who laid the foundations for modern civil rights in the united States. These Black men and women, who helped redefine freedom in America, began their service in the American Revolution and were the conductors of the Underground Railroad, teachers, writers, preachers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, etc. They include Black freedom fighters like Lewis Hayden, Onesimus, Seneca Boston, Thankful Micah, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, Marisa Stewart, Elzabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, Primus Hall, Phyllis Wheatley, William Cooper Nell, and many others.

The Boston Museum of African American History is more than a museum. It is home to four original African American buildings, including the Abiel Smith School (1835) and the African Meeting House (1806) - spaces that Black Americans occupied physically, intellectually, and spiritually in the nineteenth century, and the birthplace and a hub of the abolitionist movement. The museum educates the public about the ongoing struggle for human rights and the fight to dismantle racism in the United States. It helps people understand and conceptualize racial inequity and injustice themes that span decades, and it is filled with heroic stories not found in American history books.

I stood at the pulpit in the church (the oldest extant African American church building in the United States) and sat on the church bench where black iconic abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) sat during church service in the 1880s. It was such an amazing and overwhelming experience! I imagined how brave those iconic Black American luminaries were fighting to end enslavement of Black people by white colonists. I thought about all the things they had to go through to help Black people who were fleeing from bondage and the enormous risks they took to get them to safety.

Their courage filled me with more determination than ever and has fortified and empowered me to continue my activism and advocacy to dismantle racial inequity and social injustice in the United States. We must continue the “good fight” and get in “good trouble” (late Congressman John Lewis) until every American feels a sense of belonging, welcome, and accepted as an equal member of this society. Coalition4Jusice provides two monthly adult sessions in a safe space where people engage in authentic conversations about racial inequity and social injustice in our society. With the belief that the past informs the present, our monthly Speaker Series and Community Conversations, led by experts on each topic, help to create awareness and educate the public about the historical harm inflicted on a group of Americans with the hope of transforming individual attitudes, behaviors and systemic racist policies and legislation.

We invite you to Join, and our free monthly sessions offered via zoom. Registration is required.

Together we can work to create a better, healthier, and safer society for all Americans.

We thank those of you who have engaged with us and joined us on this journey to a multicultural democratic nation and the path to true healing. Your participation and contributions help to make a difference and advance equity, inclusion, justice, and racial healing in our communities.

In solidarity and hope,

Dr. Bernadine Ahonkhai

Education & DEIJ Consultant

Founder/CEO, Coalition4Justice

905 N. Bethlehem Pike, #754, Spring House, PA 19477



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