The initial reason we journey upstream is to get a better understanding of our world. The main benefit, however, is that we gain a better understanding of ourselves.
As we journey upstream, we must remember that everyone is captive to their own experiences. We can only truly know our own world: we merely believe that we understand the experiences of others. Our experiences, in turn, influence our perspectives.
Yes, like all American cities, Rochester had an exceptional past, but it also has some truly ugly stories that have remained carefully untold. Stories that those neighbors and my own dad had never heard. The racial conflicts which spawned “white flight” were symptoms of deeper problems. As a Rochester citizen, Frederick Douglass, once said, “The thing that is worse than the rebellion is the thing that caused the rebellion.”