Aberdeen Bay
Madeline Sharples

Where I Got the Idea for Papa's Shoes

While my husband was writing our family histories some twenty-five years ago, he interviewed some of the elders in our family and collected writings by others. I became very intrigued with what my aunt – my father’s sister – wrote about her life as a young girl when she was well into her eighties. That she wrote a whole page describing her friendship – as she called it – with a young gentile teacher named Merrill Faulk. He would pick her up at her family home and take her to school plays and concerts and then out for a bite afterward. She also wrote that her brother (my father) objected so strongly that he got the family to move to Chicago to get her away from this man who was not marriage material for an Orthodox Jewish young woman. And that she still even remembered his name and could describe his looks and the way he dressed after 64 years made me think she must have still carried a torch for him. While in real life she met and married a nice Jewish man, had two children, and lived the rest of her life in Chicago, I decided to get her together with her true love.

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Creating Boston’s Latin Quarter

Long-time Boston resident Ken Tangvik discusses the work of the Hyde Square Task Force and its allies in transforming the Hyde-Jackson Square area of Jamaica Plain. In this talk, he describes the neighborhood that was labeled the “cocaine capital of New England” in the 1980’s and how community organizing, Afro-Latin arts and youth development were utilized to create a culturally and economically vibrant Latin Quarter of Boston. Ken Tangvik is the author of Don't Mess with Tanya: Stories Emerging from Boston's Barrios.

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Creating Boston’s Latin Quarter, TEDx Talk, by Ken Tangvik
Don't Mess with Tanya

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Don't Mess with Tanya: Stories Emerging from Boston's Barrios



Ken Tangvik

As Boston’s demographics shift, a subtle cultural revolution swirls ahead, opening doors of perception. Jazmin, a Latina teen, explores immortality on a basketball court in Jamaica Plain. Tanya, a young black woman from Dorchester, confronts a store-owner over racial profiling. Matt, an Irish thug from Charlestown, learns “what women want” at a Caribbean hair salon in Mattapan. Rosa, a beautiful Brazilian house cleaner in Brighton, tests out a theory with her dueling boyfriends. These characters and others crash, clash, and commune in loosely-linked provocative stories that explore themes of culture, race, immigration, violence, love and spirituality. The engaging urban tales propel the reader into everyday dramas that are transforming Beantown’s social fabric.

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