Sunday, July 17, 2016

El Barrio

Today in class we explored the issues around race, poverty and housing. This closely relates to education because depending on income level  and housing opportunities, certain groups of people have advantages or disadvantages in and out of school.

To introduce this topic, Sam, one of our classmates, showed us a video about cafeteria culture at his school. It was about who sat with who and showed students of color sitting with other students of color and same for white students but they sat mostly with other white students. David, a TA, began talking after the video finished. He talked about how real estate agents would purposely not offer houses in certain neighborhoods because the customer is of color and would instead offer houses in neighborhood where they fit the demographic as a form of segregation. Worth soon was assigned to neighborhoods and some communities were worth less than others solely based on who lived within them; a “colored” neighborhood would be worth less than a “white” neighborhood. This is a modern day segregation and is bad that this even exists. After the discussion we broke for lunch.

Mural Welcoming people 
Mural depicting the history of the
  Puerto Rican community
After lunch we all went on a field trip to “El Barrio”. “El Barrio” is a Puerto Rican neighborhood and we stopped at a community center near the center of it. One of the workers there told us about how the center’s mission is to teach kids about hispanic history through the arts. The community center is getting a new building just across the street from their current one. The same worker also gave us a small tour of the town. We got to see one of the murals depicting how it came to be mostly Puerto Ricans living here. The town reminded me of when I lived in El Salvador because there was music blasting from store front and also how it was clearly a low income area but still was beautiful. The buildings seemed as if they were falling apart and it doesn’t look like the safest area to go Pokemon hunting at night. We said goodbye to “El Barrio” and we headed back to our privileged lives at the university.
One of the beautiful murals on the way to El Barrio

Since it was late (and partly because it Friday) class ended as soon as we got back. I went up to my dorm and later met up with Therese so that we could go to the movies. We went to go see Ghostbusters in 3D. I enjoyed it and was glad to see more female representation in the media. Then we headed back to the dorms and called it a night.

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