Everyone with a sense of fair play is horrified by stories of racially inspired abuse. As bad as such incidents can be, however, what is most damaging to the well-being of blacks is the constant media assertions that blacks are inexorably inferior. It can be difficult for people to feel motivated to achieve when they lack the confidence to believe in their own abilities.
Boston’s Banner Years: 1965–2015 seeks to refute the negative implications of alleged black incompetence by chronicling black success. Over the years, editor Melvin B. Miller has developed an institutional memory of his community’s affairs. He has used that unique resource to help produce this collection, in which well-qualified reporters share researched accounts of black achievement in Boston, creating a record for future generations of black community success. Stories of individual achievements of blacks can be inspiring, but they sometimes seem like aberrations. Providing numerous examples of blacks being assertive, competent, and successful, these essays make it impossible to apply the negative racial stereotype to blacks in Boston, a place that is to some extent an incubator of black success.
This collection of essays presents a series of biographical profiles highlighting black achievement and success in Boston over the course of fifty years.