Those Who Came Before
As we start the new year and look toward the future, we must not forget to look also to the past. James Baldwin, the African-American novelist and social critic/activist, wrote: “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” Over time, this quote has often been condensed into the popular saying, “You don’t know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been.” Either way, the words are true. All of the history of a place and a people accumulates to form the culture which shapes the present and the future. If you don’t know that history, how can you know your culture or, by extension, yourself? The history and culture of Tangipahoa Parish is every bit as rich and complex as that of our sister to the south, New Orleans. It is hoped that this column will bring that history to life for all generations, young and old, of residents, both native and adopted.
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