^ Roxbury Dudley Square : the Bruce Bolling Building seen at night

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Both Rodney Singleton, our Seen From the Hill columnist, and I, former Roxbury Mayor Thomas Dudley writing The Dudley files, agree that the plans afoot to rename Roxbury’s central square, and adjoining regions, as “Menino City,” would be a significant degrading of our settlement.

First, from Thomas Dudley, speaking for The Dudley Files :

Those who traveled the full width of the Atlantic Sea with me to establish here a Puritan congregation did not fail; in our mission. Our triumph, which has made possible the triumphs of all who have come into Roxbury because of what we have accomplished, finds its memoriam in the names that our successors have put upon Roxbury’s central places. However unforeseen, and bold, and surprising, the re-imaginings adopted by our successors, all profit by the legitimacy given them by their honoring the unforeseen, bold, and surprising re-invention. Honor is assured to the new by the place names of old.

That the name sought to be set aside is my own, is of consequenced to me, of course; but I speak not only for myself and the Dudley family. If my name, brought here across every hardship and in the face of every ill wind, can have its fortitudes supplanted, how will my triumph be of any example ? Pride there is in my claim to be remembered even now, when I am no longer by the flesh among you; and pride might yet be an example to you of today, along with your boldness and your surprise — how may it incommode you to have to re-invent pride when said pride is already present in your midst ?

May it trouble your officers, keep my name upon our chiefest square not as a clinging to what is old but as an example of how bold new the first Roxbury thing new really was.

— Thomas Dudley / The Dudley Files

And now, from Rodney Singleton / Seen From the Gill :

Editors of the Boston Globe:

Nearly 22% of Roxbury households living in poverty struggle to earn the $10,000 dollars in funding Nuestra Communidad is squandering to rename and some say rebrand parts of Roxbury in memory of the late mayor Tom Menino.

As if a poor mix of for sale housing affordability, failed retail anchor in Wal-Mart, leasing land it cannot develop, giving artist all the credit over an entire community, or selling once public lands it owns to a charter school most kids in Roxbury cannot attend were not enough. Nuestra CDC the developer now sees fit to reamed parts of Roxbury for its own gain? Mr. Price, head of Nuestra, would never try this in his home town of Milton!

Many watched in horror when Alex Haley’s Roots aired showing slaves whipped into submission to accept the name given by their slave masters. When did Roxbury and parts of her become Nuestra’s or any other developer’s chattel in need of a name for profit?

Truth is: we won’t be whipped into submission ever again! Roxbury is free to choose her own name if and when required. Right now we’re Roxbury Proud! Roxbury Strong! Roxbury Forever!

Rodney Singleton / Seen From the HIll

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