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The Mass Media

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Old Boston

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” goes a well-known passage from the Declaration of Independence.

Recalling these words, the Black Student Center sponsored a Feb. 29 presentation about the history of Boston, with an emphasis on the city’s fight against slavery.

The speaker was Nyadenya Inyagwa, UMass Boston senior and park ranger in the Boston division of the National Park Service. He reviewed the history of Beacon Hill, particularly in light of its importance to African Americans, then as well as now. But he recounted the history in an original way.

In one story, for example, he revealed that Boston’s Holmes Alley was a place where fugitive escaping slaves were able to avoid slave catchers.

Inyagwa’s talk illustrated the fact that despite this country’s vast and intricate history, people often tend to ignore their own backyards.

The Black Student Center at UMass Boston is here to provide a central space for students of African descent and other ethnic groups to develop academically and socially. It aims to promote their positive self-image by facilitating access to their history and culture. For more information about the BSC, please send any and all questions to [email protected].