On Episode 8 Part I, I talk to 24-year veteran educator Dave Carr, Prinicipal at L.A.'s Promise, a new Charter School in South L.A. He reflects on what it was like entering his 1st year of teaching knowing that South Central L.A was continuing to deal with long lasting racial divides between African-Americans and Latinos after the Los Angeles riots. Dave’s parents, originally from the Caribbean, moved from New York to Watts when he was just a child. It was then, he got a sense of the strain and stress of everyday folks just trying to survive. Knowing that life for Dave might have been too difficult under these conditions, his parents moved out to a suburban enclave closer to the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by Yugoslavian and Italian immigrants and their families, Dave begin to realize his difference. He found comfort in music and watching black characters navigate the white dominated world on old 70s sitcoms. Dave took these experiences to the classroom in Compton. He was faced with questions about his “blackness” by young black boys from Compton, but still continued to work with young Black and Brown kids to bridge racial divides. That, and, well, trying to figure out how to teach 56 Latino immigrants in one classroom while standing on a desk.
March 29, 2017