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LETTERS

Recalling wounds of racism through the eyes of a friend

A face mask was left behind after an antiracism protest in Hyde Park on June 20 in London.
A face mask was left behind after an antiracism protest in Hyde Park on June 20 in London.Hollie Adams/Getty

Felice J. Freyer writes that Dr. Martin Pierre, the first Black president of the Massachusetts Psychological Association, “sees racism as a mental health issue and welcomes the healing effects of the Black Lives Matters movement” (“At a time of Black pain, someone to listen,” Page A1, Oct. 2).

I had a dear friend, Vera Hubbard, an honored poet whose portrait was displayed beside that of Fred Rogers in the Pittsburgh airport. Despite her impressive success, she had endured years of overt racism that caused lasting mental scars. When she and I went out together, we followed her own race-based strategy that she told me was to keep people from automatically assuming she was my maid. My Black friend always led the way, and I, the white woman, followed.

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If enough people could comprehend the real wounds that racism afflicts on so many children, men, and women, perhaps the necessary changes in social, economic, educational, and judicial systems would take place.

Iris Kaufman

Peabody