by Marcus Harrison Green
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Eliot
No journey is as edifying as the one returning you to where you belong.
In my absence from the Emerald, I’ve explored and uncovered much about myself, this community, our larger society, and the inexorable power of words to craft and mold the realities we embrace about ourselves and one another.
Too often those words scribble pictures of tragedy, pain, and humiliation. Too often they function in obedience to the powerful and oppressive. And too often they prescribe narratives of life with little relation to our reality.
Such words find their adversaries not in images of frail hope, or exploitative hardship but portraits of fully textured, spectacularly rendered human beings.
That’s why I’m overwhelmed with joy today in announcing my return to the Emerald as its publisher and interim Editor-In-Chief.
As thankful as I am for the opportunity to have worked at our region’s largest paper –– and as grateful as I will always be to Aaron Burkhalter and Carolyn Bick for managing this publication in my stead –– I’ve missed the Emerald every day since leaving, much like a loved one you were separated from by fate instead of choice.
But I’ve chosen to come back and further the mission we set upon nearly six years ago, one even more crucial today: to be a place that brings light to the darkness, covers the undercovered, shouts from the margins loud enough for the entire city to hear, and yes –– speaks truth to the powerful –– but also speaks to, with, and alongside those deemed powerless, affirming they are not.
We will do that by re-rooting ourselves in the community that has sustained us all this time, constructing an improved website, and eventually growing our staff to a capacity that can expand our reach and rival larger publications.
None of that will be easy. None of it will be overnight.
Our renaissance will take several months, immense energy, ingenuity, moving at the pace of community, and of course financial resources at a time when less than 10% of journalism targeted donations go to People of Color led media outlets.
In order to realize our vision we ask you to chip in whatever you can. Yes, I know that times are precarious for many of us. But I also know that we will never be able to reimagine what storytelling and journalism can be without our readership collectively reinvesting financially in our work.
Hard things are hard. But they are also worth doing.
And so in that task of building an inclusive publication, where you have the right to be rendered as a full human being, the right to have the lived context of your life respected, the right to have power imbalances between reporter and those reported on addressed, the right to have your story told as authentically as humanly possible, I offer this city’s undercovered, underrepresented, marginalized, South End and POC communities no invitation.
Because after all, when a place is your home, you need no invitation to enter.
Your home is here. We need you under this roof.
Now let us get back to work, together.
Featured image: Hannah Letinich