Edythe Eyde, Writing in 1947

Posted by James Waller on June 5, 2019

Over the course of the next four weeks, we will be exploring the intersection between the history of the City of Los Angeles and the LGBTQ civil rights movement between 1940 and 1980. Los Angelenos have a rich and sometimes unusual history of activism within their own communities and beyond. With the help of the Making Gay History podcast and its host Eric Marcus, we will get to know a few of the lesser known influencers.  Knowing some of these stories ensures that the history we teach our students is both accurate and inclusive.

The first person we are going to meet is Edythe Eyde. Her voice is like listening to someone’s polite, unassuming grandmother . . . until you realize, through her stories, what a heroine she actually was.  I’m sure you’ll agree that she was prescient, radical, and deserving of high praise. Way back in 1947, Edythe Eyde was already ahead of her time:

"Homosexuality is becoming a less and less taboo subject, and although still considered by the general public as contemptible, or treated with derision, I venture to predict that there will be a time in the future when gay folk will be accepted as part of regular society."

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Topics: Upstanders, LGBTQ

An Adult Learning Opportunity for Pride Month

Posted by James Waller on May 31, 2019

This June, we are proud to continue our focus on Upstanders with a special series on California LGBTQ Upstanders, co-hosted by ONE Archives Foundation and in collaboration with the podcast, Making Gay History. Each week, we will explore the content, themes, and questions raised in one past episode of the podcast. We invite you to subscribe to this blog so you get the updates each week, listen along with us, and share your thoughts by commenting on this blog. Our host and guide for this series is James Waller, a long-time educator in South Los Angeles, a board member of ONE Archives Foundation, and a Facing History friend. Here is his introduction to this series.

A little personal perspective

Most of my K-12 education was in various LAUSD schools around Mid-City and the Valley.  I paid attention in school and did pretty well for the most part, but I was not inspired by what I was learning.  I did not see much of myself in any of the things that I studied in the curriculum of the time. Although I was a huge fan of my history lessons in elementary school and of the stories told in my Sunday school class at church, it was not until my World History class in 10th grade, roughly three years later, that I began to even see Black people as being written about as anything other than a savage, a slave, a sharecropper or a shoplifter.  This might not have been the case 100 percent of the time, but it was enough to paint a a pitiable picture in my head that did not give me much hope about life in America for a young Black man.

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Topics: LGBTQ

2019 Upstanders from LA Partnership Schools!

Posted by Liz Vogel on May 23, 2019

Each year, we invite our Los Angeles Partnership Schools to nominate an individual or group that has demonstrated the qualities of an Upstander in their school community. This year’s theme was allyship which kicked off at our Summit on School Culture last fall. Many schools had difficulty choosing just *one* person or group to nominate! Facing History is proud to recognize the effort and action of the following Upstanders in communities across Los Angeles.

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

Special Speakers/Events Announced for 2019 Seminars

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 17, 2019

Summer is a special time for teachers. Non-educators often think of it as a time to relax or not work, but I always think of it as something far different - it is a time to recharge, to connect with other educators, to be more fully immersed in our own learning. It becomes the foundation for the work we do the rest of the year.  At Facing History, we love this opportunity to create spaces for learning and community for teachers.  This summer, we have some new seminars and exciting guests.  Please join us and share this with any educators you know who are looking to reinvigorate themselves and their teaching this summer. Scholarships are still available.

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Topics: Professional Development

What does "upstanding" look like to you?

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 15, 2019

As we've seen in our Upstander series this spring, "upstanding" takes many shapes.  We've shared stories that range from the very visible Nipsey Hussle to nameless "allies" making themselves visible in a march against hate, from individuals who have dedicated their work to shaping or re-shaping their community like Jessica Smith-Peterson and Arianne Edmonds to students just beginning to leverage their voices for change. What does "upstanding" look like to you?

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Topics: Upstanders, Upstander

9th Grade Upstanders

Posted by Jason David on May 7, 2019

I recently had the kind of conversation an educator needs at this time of the year.

Claudia Bautista is a dedicated and skilled teacher at Santa Monica High School. She described a group of ninth grade students who took on a service learning project, and in challenging an injustice they saw on their own campus, exemplified youth agency and the promise of civic education.

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

Arianne Edmonds and Jefferson Edmonds: an LA Upstander Family

Posted by Gayle Cole on May 2, 2019

Arianne Edmonds has upstanding in her DNA. Her great, great grandfather:

  • testified at a Congressional hearing despite threats of violence
  • started one of the early newspapers in Los Angeles for the Black community
  • advocated directly for increased voter registration by African Americans

Facing History and Ourselves sat down with Arianne at the California African American Museum on April 29, 2019 to discuss her journey to bring the story of Jefferson Lewis Edmonds to more people.  

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Topics: Reconstruction, Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander, Slavery

Knock Down the House

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 29, 2019

Sometimes we think of learning how to be an upstander from those who have achieved amazing success.  I had the opportunity to see an early screening of Knock Down the House - releasing May 1, 2019 on Netflix - and it has me thinking instead of all we can learn from those who stand up, not knowing whether or not they will even succeed.  In this week's blog for our season of upstanding (#LAUpstander), I’d love to hear your thoughts on upstanding in film and what we learn from those upstanders whose success is by no means guaranteed.  

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Topics: Film, Upstanders, Upstander

What Opens YOUR World?

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 24, 2019

Jessica Smith-Peterson received the 2019 Los Angeles Upstander Award from Facing History this Spring. Jessica holds a special place in our hearts having been a student in one of our LA classrooms a dozen years ago! Since that first introduction to upstanding rather than bystanding and her first actions to challenge injustice on her own campus, Jessica has gone on to get her law degree, advance immigrant rights, and teach formerly convicted persons how to restore their voting rights. Upon receiving the award, she shared how Facing History “opened up a world wider than I could have imagined” and taught her how to walk in someone else’s shoes, a skill that is vital in her work today as a public defender.

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

Children of Blood and Bone

Posted by Liz Vogel on April 20, 2019

The next selection in our Book Cafe series is Children of Blood and Bone, a 2018 young adult fantasy novel by American author Tomi Adeyemi. This debut novel has been on my radar since it made news for being purchased as a trilogy as one of the largest YA movie deals ever, by one of the youngest YA authors ever, even before the first book was published!
What stood out to me even more in reading early reviews, was how Adeyemi created a fantasy world in which to explore the very real issues of racism, oppression and slavery. 
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Topics: Book

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