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Step Out of Your History and Into Your Life


By Amy Bryant

Amy BryantWhen I moved here six years ago, I often wondered why I saw so few African Americans in downtown Safety Harbor.  I concluded it must be an all – White town.  It wasn’t until three years later that I learned there was a Black section. So where were all the Black people?

Just last year, I was told that many residents of Safety Harbor’s Black community are afraid to venture downtown.  In this day and age?  Why? This is not the old South.

While researching a previous blog, I became aware of a window in history rarely spoken of in our town. African American Harborites were forbidden on the sidewalks—forced to walk in the road as they headed down Main Street. Today’s laws and customs do not support such a tradition.  Yet its emotional impact is handed down through the generations.  Jim Crow has been erased from the law books, but not from the Black psyche.

I’ve offered you a bit of Black history.  But this blog isn’t just about Black history, it’s about all of our histories. It’s not only in the racial arena that we hold ourselves back. There’s a difference between acknowledging past injustices and being held hostage by them; living from our history, frozen in time instead of grasping hold of present-day reality.

Society is changing today more rapidly than any other time in history.  Norms and taboos that many of us grew up with are losing relevance in today’s world.  Unfulfilled dreams that were discarded or set aside are now in the realm of possibility if we will only call them forth and take a risk.

Historical paralysis affects us all, whether by race, culture, gender, ethnicity, orientation, or religion. What’s in your history that’s holding you back?

~written by Amy Bryant, Safety Harbor resident blogger



  1. Thank you again Amy, for bringing awareness to us in your powerful words. You always make us look inward.

  2. One of the reasons the Harbor Dish was created was to bring community together. We have succeeded in may ways but there is so much more that can be done…. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Chris – I’ve observed you first hand with admiration and respect. You are truly a unifying force in the community.

  3. Amy, what a brief but powerful post. In our nation and in much of the world today, several elements are telegraphing the energies of a retrograde era. Ordinary citizens are becoming unnerved, upset and outraged as they fall prey to these elements. What these reactors don’t realize is that their emotional agreement contributes to negative social outcomes. As always, you do more than parrot the popular and overly played -isms: instead, you remind us of our innate dignity and point us on our personal paths to a higher way of living. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for sharing this aspect of our town’s history–important for us to acknowledge and to understand. Also, as your question is one we can ask ourselves no matter how old we are, I’ve still got some time to ask the mirror a thing or two. Yeah for that!

  5. Powerful stuff, Amy. Thank you. I’d like to hear more of your thoughts about how we let our psyches “hold us hostage” in the past as our futures fly by. WOW. Oh, WOW. Oh, WOW, WOW.

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