To the Editor:
A Day of Reckoning Approaches!
As probably the only Black History teacher for 30 consecutive years to have taught in a school district (Piqua) that is close to 95% white, I have long possessed a peculiarly unique responsibility to seek mutuality and accommodation. And I often have a level of discernment in recognizing that my good faith efforts would be appreciated but nevertheless would be regretfully ignored, denied or trivialized as lacking some conventional detail in order to merit the consideration of others. Coming from a community (Loveland) that mirrors the City of Piqua, OH where I now live, I have understood how to navigate within a majority leadership community as a so-called minority labeled with a marginalized group identity.
But the safe and comfortable approach as a ‘change agent’ no matter how moderate the effort to influence others, has too often proven to be a singular obligation. I have long realized that would be the case and had lived a personal and professional lifestyle with the personal motto or creed that begins — I am only one … but as the only one, I now must fulfill a greater role of responsibility in challenging my Beloved Community with the potential awareness of becoming very uncomfortable.
As Piquads, and Miami Countians, we must resolve to acknowledge the past and move with urgency in establishing the Piqua area as a uniquely inclusive community acting in a collaborative manner to promote our city of opportunity and vision as truly valuing the dignity and respect of all its residents in living in a hospitable place of shared historical heritage.
Black History is my reason for being here and my purpose in promoting an inclusive historical heritage in ‘Freedom’s Struggle’ throughout America! We have a story to tell here and a mission to use the Piqua model as a ‘Pathway to Success’ for our community, region, state and nation! While I am only one, I feel a sense of commitment and empowerment to combat and save America from a recurring cycle of Jim Crow.
— Larry Hamilton