When Andrew Williams’ mother moved to Burbank, he said, the first thing her neighbors told her was that they “didn’t want any trouble.” They said Black people such as herself hadn’t been allowed to live there until some time ago, he added.
Still, Williams said in a recent interview, his mother’s choice to live in what Burbank officials recognized last year as a former “sundown town” — communities that had policies excluding non-white ethnic groups — was one of survival. She was tired of living in cities where violence was more common, Williams explained, and wanted a better environment for her children. Continue reading “Project’s Goal: Non-Threatening Community Dialogue on Race”
St. Francis High School officials said they continue to investigate hate-filled, racist posts that were anonymously sent during the school’s livestreamed Mass last Thursday, noting that the administration is “heartbroken and embarrassed” and committed to identifying those responsible.
The school is engaged in addressing racism-related issues and raising awareness among all its constituents, officials added, though they said SFHS students are not believed to be responsible for the comments.
Staff, students and community members expressed dismay when, during the school’s worship, a stream of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic comments flooded the online chat function and were visible to participants in the virtual Mass. Continue reading “St. Francis Investigates Racist Comments During Virtual Mass”
In the wake of the massive outcry after the murder of George Floyd, I have been invited by a number of news outlets in the United States and Canada to comment on issues of racism in America. Most of the reporters want to know how I feel about things racial today in contrast to how I felt about these same issues when I was in Little Rock those many years ago.
My usual response has been to point out that it would probably be more meaningful to inquire about my thoughts instead of my feelings. Then, without waiting for a revised question, I proceed to speak openly, about my thoughts.
I think that very little sustained attention has been paid to the legally mandated actions designed to block the forward progress of Black people in this country. Historically we have had to contend with covenants preventing Black people from acquiring formal education in the nation’s public and private schools, laws preventing Black home ownership, restrictive covenants barring Black residents from neighborhoods identified as Whites-only spaces, laws limiting employment, health care, recreational and financial opportunities for Black people. Continue reading “Little Rock Nine Alumnus on Notion of ‘We the People’”
Allegations of racism put Starbucks in the national spotlight again last week. The latest incident occurred in La Cañada Flintridge, following those in Philadelphia and Torrance.
On Tuesday, May 15, a Latino customer who ordered two drinks at the Starbucks location at 475 Foothill Blvd. received beverages labeled with a derogatory term used to refer to people of Latino descent.
“The mistake is unacceptable and we’re absolutely taking additional steps,” said a Starbucks spokeswoman, who identified herself only as Ann, by phone last week. “Our leadership team did meet with the customer and he accepted our apology.”
Without offering specifics, she added: “We’re taking additional steps to make sure we understand exactly what happened and how our partners can be better.”
The popular coffee chain had previously publicized plans to close more than 8,000 of its company-owned stores for an afternoon of employee “racial-bias education” on Tuesday, May 29. Continue reading “Local Starbucks Under Fire After Racial Slur on Cup”
When Pasadena resident Terrence Roberts was growing up in the 1950s in Little Rock, Arkansas, he wasn’t allowed to sit in most restaurants or even enter a good number of them, only able to order food from a side window. The rest of his life, he knew, would be defined by racial segregation; where he could walk, live and work, whether he could go to school or get a bank loan or whom he could marry. Every move would be controlled. Continue reading “Little Rock Nine Alumnus Reflects 60 Years Later”