— By Parneshia Jones
For Shorefront and our founding Mothers and Fathers, circa 1859
© June 2009
We came with our histories,
planted our centennial stories along these fresh water coasts.
An earthly heaven of emerald lagoons and Godly oaks
shadow the chiseled trails of our arrival.
We are the North Shore folktales.
Our copper-back ancestors, with their cotton-tipped
wood-cutter hands, are the heirlooms that built this landscape
of jubilant churches and miniature chateaus.
A harvest of migrating hearts, tell our way back when.
We are the porch stories, the buttermilk aprons,
the lovers of Sundays and sailboats.
This land of dew winged cardinals and chandelier forests
is where we preserve our pioneers and preachers.
We are the long grass, the anxious wind, the whisper
of generations often heard between the lines of history.
June 2009, the Shorefront Legacy Center officially opened to the public on the second floor of a once segregated school in Evanston, Illinois. The poem, Legacy, was penned and read live at the opening by poet, Parneshia Jones in honor of the new center. Ms. Jones poem will appear in her upcoming book Vessel, Milkweed Editions in 2014.