I learned a little tidbit from a friend the other day. This is how it goes:
Centennial High School was supposed to be Harper's Choice High School. It would have been where Cedar Lane Park is now. But, depending on whose version of the story you may have heard, either A) Howard Countians were tired of Columbia getting all the new things, or B) there were Howard Countians who didn't want their children going to school with "those Columbia kids".
You can hear that dog whistle, can't you?
I know I have readers who were around when this all actually went down, so feel free to jump in and flesh out the story.
I continue to bump into reasons why what James Rouse did in Columbia was so revolutionary. Housing: integrated. Schools: integrated. Swimming Pools: integrated.
I think some if us would like to believe that racism used to be a problem but that we've really made so much progress that it's really a thing of the past. The truth is that for every step forward there's been pushback. Even right here n Howard County. Even in Columbia itself.
Last night was the grand opening of Undesign the Redline, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia in the Owen Brown Interfaith Center. I was able to see this installation when it was at Enterprise Communuty Partners. Looking at photographs from last night's event, it looks like plenty of folks who missed it on that occasion turned out this time. This is to be a long term home for the exhibit. If you haven't seen it, you should. They will be posting tour times soon.
From the County Executive's Facebook page:
At the Owen Brown Interfaith Center for the opening of "Undesign the Redline", an interactive exhibit on structural racism. The exhibit has five sections that discuss the history and current impacts of racial housing segregation during the 1930s, and what we can do to eliminate racial disparities moving forward. Hours and tour times are forthcoming!
I walked away from my experience understanding more deeply why structural racism continues to mar and skew outcomes for people of color all over this country, and that we, in our idealistic bubble, are sadly not immune.
Comments are welcome here: