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.