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The Black history I carry with me: Makeeba McCreary

A Beautiful Resistance celebrates Black History Month

Makeeba McCreary and her brother Robert "Bob" Turner.
Makeeba McCreary and her brother Robert "Bob" Turner.file

“My name is Makeeba McCreary and I want to celebrate New England Black History by honoring my big brother Robert ‘Bob’ Turner. I call him Bobby.

My earliest memories are of him riding me on the back of his bike to school. I remember him being my protector at Sparrow Park. And then I remember him selling drugs, going to jail, and getting clean a few times.

Now, my brother saves lives. Not the dramatic story of pulling someone out of a burning building, but instead the heroic force of being present and making sure his clients understand taking it ‘one day at a time’ is a real, necessary thing. I believe he has found his calling.

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Bobby graduated into life with a Bachelor’s, then a Master’s, strong relationships with his children, and a beautiful partner who is kind. I understand that he cannot forget that he is an addict and that he must privilege his sobriety over all else, but I want the folks reading this to know that his fight, his humility, and his faith are the things that keep me afloat. My big brother Bobby is the reason many lives will be able to experience the same freedom he has found. I am grateful for him every day. On Feb. 6, 2021, Robert Turner will be 15 years clean, sober, educated, educating and saving lives.”

Makeeba McCreary is the first Chief of Learning and Community Engagement at the Museum of Fine Arts.


Jeneé Osterheldt can be reached at jenee.osterheldt@globe.com and on Twitter @sincerelyjenee.