When Community and Compassion Did Not Mean Government

A wave of shock and fear overtook me as I hit my brakes on Belle Grove Rd.  A lake covered the main road through the lower half of the community where I was raised -- where my parents and younger siblings still lived.  The only sign of the homes in the lower area of our small black suburban community called Pumphrey was a few tips of roofs.  Hurricane Agnes left much of Pumphrey under water. It was the early '70s.  I was a teen living in Baltimore City, attending college.  Upon hearing about the hurricane hitting Pumphrey, I headed home to check on my family. We moved to Pumphrey when Dad, along with a few other blacks, broke the color barrier to become Baltimore City firefighters.  This afforded us (mom, dad and five kids) funds to move out of the government projects in Baltimore City. It is funny how events in life make or break you.  Pumphrey had two churches, one Baptist and the other Methodist.  Dad did not pastor either of the...(Read Full Article)

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