Pasadena Time Travel

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Lincoln High School, Los Angeles, 1968

In 1968, Chicano students at multiple East Los Angeles high schools staged simultaneous walkouts to advocate for better conditions and fair treatment in the schools.

“We realized we all had the same complaints: Our buildings were falling down. Our classrooms were overcrowded. We took a survey and realized that most students felt the same. They weren’t being recognized in school. Teachers were regularly saying racist things to them and about them.

We talked to our parents, our teachers, our counselors and our principals. But we were patronized. We met with our school superintendent, our elected congressman, our city council people. They said, ‘Yeah, you guys are really smart kids; you should just go back to school.’

We were asking for better schools, a better education. Isn’t that what we should be doing? We didn’t start out planning a walkout. We started out wanting to make our educational system better. We started out demanding educational justice.”

-Paula Crisostomo, Emeritus Assistant Dean of Students for Intercultural Affairs, Occidental College, Lincoln High School class of 1968

©2018 Deborah Aschheim. This project is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. Courtesy Paula Cristosomo.