She’ll get none of the coverage in the news, but the best speech at today’s interfaith service in Boston didn’t come from President Obama or any other politician. It came from this woman: Rev. Liz Walker of Roxbury Presbyterian Church.
The choice of Walker to lead off today’s ceremony couldn’t possibly have been accidental. She is as much an icon of the city as any of the others we’ve heard this week. She was a long-time TV anchor, the first African American woman anchor in the city. And she wasn’t on the B-squad; she was the prime-time anchor.
And that was a big deal back then because Boston has a racist past (and probably a present, too, if we’re being honest) and her ascension to the position came not long after Boston’s struggle with school desegregation — at least as measured in social-change years.
When she got pregnant, she was unmarried and there were plenty of shameful calls for her to step down. This was — is — Boston, where Puritan values still have strong roots.
She eventually left the station to pursue her theology degree at Harvard Divinity School.
She was a great choice to speak, and the fact she spoke elegantly from her heart was a bonus.