A Tour of Roxbury's "Living Legends"

By Talia Whyte

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Susan Gilliam Thompson talks about her public art at Roxbury Crossing (video by Talia Whyte).

BOSTON — Artist Susan Thompson participated as a “living legend” in a trolley tour, examining the contributions of Roxbury women to Boston history. The tour was hosted by Discover Roxbury as part of a women’s history month celebration. Other women both living and deceased given praise on the tour included community organizer Melnea Cass, METCO head Jean McGuire and Dr. Susan Dimock, the founder of what is now known as the Dimock Community Health Center.

I have passed through the turnstiles at Roxbury Crossing many times and never knew the history behind the beautiful textiles. I think it is really great to have such a tour because it helps give more context to things people may see on a regular basis in their daily lives, but don’t take much notice to, like passing through a T station. More importantly, the tour is designed to help attendees better appreciate the contributions of the many people from a neighborhood that is generally seen in a negative light in the media.

“The tour is designed to help people from other communities better understand all that is great in this neighborhood,” said Discover Roxbury executive director Derek Lumpkins at the end of the tour. “We hope we can make all communities stronger this way.”

This article was produced as part of the Black Perspectives Now series.


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