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Writing the City

Mirror Sites:
CSUDH Habermas UWP

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 18, 2001
Latest update: May 18, 2001
E-Mailjeannecurran@habermas.org

"Inner" and "Other"

Project of the Love and Peace Class Series
  • Introduction to Project
  • Marlene Boykin's Memories of Watts



    On Saturday, May 19, 2001, Marlene Boykin wrote:

    I have some great memories of growing up in Watts. I was about 6 or 7 and remember living on 103rd Street and Avalon. the neighborhood was quiet during the week and noisy on the weekend (everyone entertained in their home and yard. There were many BBQ's, 1st communions, baptismals, weedings, graduations and just plain party parties. In those days, most families neverleft their children with a babysitter (due to money constraintsl). anyway, there was a good feeling of togetherness. There was the corner store where all the kids went for penny candy. The rides to the barber shop with my father on Saturday (all the oldmen gathered there for weekly gossip). The trips to the market with my mother and grandmother. The rides on the red car (which is now the Blue Line). The walks to church with my mother. The fireworks on the 4th of July with my family. Everybody knew their neighbor and everyone took dcare of each otgher. I had some great times on 103rd Street. Queen Marlene



    Intertextual Essay: Writing the City

    by Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Independent Writers
    Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata, and Independent Authors, May 2001. Fair use "encouraged."
    This project was introduced by Valencia Ross as a discourse topic for Criminology. Valencia suggested that what most people know of Watts is the sensationalized tales of violence and innercity chaos spread by the media. Valencia, having grown up in the area, reminded us that there are many wonderful memories and lives being lived in this very area so maligned by the media who rarely encounter the city during peaceful moments. Considering that structural violence, Valencia wanted to give a forum to the "Other" voice of Watts.

    As we explored the topic, we discovered that there were many of us who had had rich and wonderful experiences with this community. This project is thus the beginning of a collection of stories of lived-experience here in Los Angeles in the California State University, Dominguez Hills service area. That includes Watts, South Central Los Angeles, Compton, Torrance, Gardena, the South Bay, Long Beach, and many, many, many more communities where life in the big bad urban areas settles into the quotidien experiences we share.

    This project is shared cross classes. Valencia was in Criminology when she proposed the project. We hope that it will be shared across campuses, particularly with our sister campus, University of Wisconsin, Parkside, and with other local community members.