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I was the little girl running to her mom because the neighbor boy couldn’t see past the color of her

City Councilor at Large Julia Mejia recalls an encounter from her Dorchester childhood, and celebrates a city of today working across differences with compassion and love.



Julia Mejia lifts up the hand of her daughter, Annaliese Cooper, as they celebrate at her inaugural party in Roxbury in January 2020.ERIN CLARK FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

In the summer of 1981, I went for a bike ride. Days like those felt so uncomplicated — strap on your knockoff Nikes, hop on a borrowed bike, and take the scenic route through the streets of Dorchester. Riding along, it felt like another great day in my 11-year-old world. But I could hear someone behind me. I turned back to see who it was.


It was Bobby.


Bobby was the neighbor boy, and something about growing up next to a brown-skinned immigrant girl with a Dominican mother made his blood boil. Bobby stepped out from his yard, with his mean-looking German shepherd glaring right at me. Before I had the chance to react, Bobby unleashed his dog and sicced him on me. My heart raced as I pedaled faster and faster to try and escape. Everything felt like it was in slow motion, from the time that dog began charging, to the moment he struck my legs, knocking me off my bike and leaving me bruised and injured on the ground. Read Full Story: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/18/magazine/i-was-little-girl-running-her-mom-because-neighbor-boy-couldnt-see-past-color-her-skin/

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