Sénatrice Linda Dorcena Forry (photo de ssdras Suarez )If there’s one word state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry hates, it’s “minority.” Yes, it is a term that’s widely used when talking about racial and ethnic groups. But the word also marginalizes people — and that is the antithesis of Dorcena Forry’s approach to life.

People are responsible for one another and must care for their neighbors the way they want to be cared for, says the 40-year-old wife and mother of four. Principles of reciprocity, access, opportunity, inclusion, and collaboration are what Dorcena Forry, a Haitian American from Dorchester, stood on when first entering politics as a state representative. They are the beliefs on which she still stands as she occupies a state Senate seat long held by Irish-American men from South Boston. (Of the 40 men and women in the state Senate, she is the only black person.)

Sénatrice Linda Dorcena Forry (photo de ssdras Suarez )Boston Globe - If there’s one word state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry hates, it’s “minority.” Yes, it is a term that’s widely used when talking about racial and ethnic groups. But the word also marginalizes people — and that is the antithesis of Dorcena Forry’s approach to life.

People are responsible for one another and must care for their neighbors the way they want to be cared for, says the 40-year-old wife and mother of four. Principles of reciprocity, access, opportunity, inclusion, and collaboration are what Dorcena Forry, a Haitian American from Dorchester, stood on when first entering politics as a state representative. They are the beliefs on which she still stands as she occupies a state Senate seat long held by Irish-American men from South Boston. (Of the 40 men and women in the state Senate, she is the only black person.)In fact, her June victory in the race for what many referred to as the “Southie Seat” (though it actually includes much of Dorchester, Mattapan, and a piece of Hyde Park) was a political milestone shattering barriers of gender, race, culture, and geography.

She will be the first non-Irish-American host of the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, a storied political roast. The duty has long belonged to the sitting senator in the First Suffolk Senate District, but Dorcena Forry had to battle to retain the privilege when some balked at the idea of a host who is not from South Boston.

The significance and symbolism of her position is not lost on Dorcena Forry, who says history, no matter how marred, must be acknowledged as you move into the future.  

--Akilah Johnson 

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