I began this series before 2020 but have been going deeper in these months of the pandemic. This past year, many of us are examining the wounds and injustices perpetrated on black and brown people. Strong grass-roots movements are emerging–Black Lives Matter, Indigenous Rights, and the “Me Too” movement for women’s empowerment. The land we call “Maine” is the ancestral home of the tribes of the Abenaki confederation.
On a personal note, my family came to America in the late 19th and early 20th century. My ancestors were Jewish immigrants who left the Pale of Settlement in Europe where Jews were allowed to live, but with restrictions. They were denied many freedoms including the ability to live in safety, to work in various professions, or to own land. These traumas and deprivations drove my ancestors to leave the only world they knew. They crossed an ocean with next to nothing in their pockets. They carried hope in their hearts that life in a new land could be better. It is the classic immigrant story.
As individuals we cannot right the wrongs of the past. But by acknowledging them, we can begin to craft a new narrative, one that honors the multiple losses and tragedies and allows us to move forward together.