Programming note, and a quick story
Some hidden history close to home, uncovered from the other side of the world.
Park Street Church. Photo: Jaemark Tordecilla
I’ve been working on an essay that I had hoped to publish before our big life move, but I wasn’t able to get it done because of the last few weeks just became too crazy. We’re a week into settling into a new city and we’ve started doing the whole touristy thing, but I’m hoping to carve out some time soon to be able to get back into the writing groove for FireQuinito.com.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a quick story that isn't about sports, but is very interesting. This afternoon, we were doing the self-guided walking tour of the Freedom Trail, and one of the stops was the Park Street Church, which Henry James1 once called “the most interesting mass of bricks and mortars in America.” The church hosted scholars, philosophers, abolitionists, and many other great men, but in the audio guide of the National Parks Service, it made sure to mention a notable woman who once spoke at the venue: Clemencia Lopez, a woman from the Philippines who addressed the New England Woman’s Suffrage Association in 1902 asking for their support against American imperialism in the Philippines. The guide quoted the powerful words to end her address: “After all, you ought to understand that we are only contending for the liberty of our country, just as you once fought for the liberty of yours.”
The whole essay is online, and is worth reading.
I’d never heard of this story, which is sad and also sadly quite common. Spending time in a city that cares so much about their history alwasy fills me with jealousy and underscores how much we need to tell our histories better.
It did, at least, put me into a Google rabbit hole about the life of Clemencia Lopez. The historian Laura R. Prieto2 has written a journal article on Clemencia, which has been summarized neatly in this short feature.
Dr. Prieto is, interestingly, not a Filipino.