Pasadena Time Travel

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Pasadena High School, 1969

From “Minorities in America,” a class offered in response to student demand for culturally relevant curriculum.

“John Muir, like all schools, didn’t really teach Black Studies. I knew a lot about famous white men who did great things. I didn’t know anything about white women. I didn’t learn anything about myself. I didn’t learn anything about my Asian and Mexican friends or even the Native American people who lived here.

In college I took my first Black Studies class. I said to myself, this is the information that I needed as a child in order to understand why I’m not inferior. This is the information that my friends needed in order to really know me. This is the information that my teachers needed because teachers can’t teach who teachers don’t know. This is the information that my nation needs so it doesn’t self-destruct. If it hadn’t been for that Black Studies class, I never would have been a teacher.”

-Starla Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Black Studies, San Diego Mesa College, John Muir 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 Pasadena High School [1969 yearbook]; Starla Lewis.