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Fall 2020

Color Compton Internship

Five local Compton youth participated in our 9-week internship that introduced Compton's history and the importance of highlighting local black and brown stories. Students used film and video to create and highlight their own local stories around Compton. Student participants are:

Angela Arciniega, 17

Karina Gonzalez, 17

Erick Grajeda, 18

Emily Hernandez, 19

Noel Lopez, 18

Dulce Prado, 17

Angela  Arciniega, 17

A Night on Compton Blvd

 

The most unique aspect of Compton is their culture when it comes to food. It plays a huge role when it comes to the community of Compton. Here I captured the food trucks and cook workers that are displayed on Compton Blvd during the evening. These people serve varieties of foods like: tacos, birria, seafood, aguas, crepes, and many more.

 

In these pictures, I try to emphasize their stories and the impact these food trucks have on the Compton community. The food trucks have an impact not only on me but families. The way the food trucks are known to unite families. They bring that energy of bringing people together and having a meal. Just looking forward to eat a delicious taco outside and be with family or a friend defines one of the most pleasant aspects of our community. To add on, local businesses are being supported which is an important topic discussed on minorities. Supporting these businesses have a lot of more meaning and impact that you’d actually think.

 

This story is important due to the fact that we ignore the negative connotation that surrounds Compton. We don’t talk about the gang or violence that is always brought up. We are more than gang members. In addition, we help each other to make us as one.

Karina Gonzalez, 17

First Generation

 

All students go through personal trials and tribulations, the one thing that sets these students apart is them being first generation here in this country. They’re attempting to come to a compromise between attaining their personal dreams and setting a concrete foundation for themselves and their family in a foreign country. Being the first here with access to a brighter future and very hopeful parents, there is a responsibility for them to plant deep roots for other generations to come so that they can have a solid foundation. Coming from a low income community exposes them to individual experiences which will shape their future while being inclined to fulfill the unfulfilled dreams their parents brought here with them from their home countries.

Erick

Grajeda, 18

 

Dreams 

My name is Erick Grajeda, an 18-year-old aspiring cinematographer and student. It is with great pride that I finally am able to wear my heritage on my sleeve, being Latino comes with it's challenges but the ability to find sympathy with others around me makes it worth while. I was born in Rochester, New York but I am incredibly grateful to have been raised within SELA, more specifically the South Gate/Lynwood areas. I hope to strive to fuel my people into an age of artful cognizance and passionate undertaking.

The project I have dubbed Dreams is a photo series that depicts the dreams of my family and their realization of them. I have them juxtaposed against their living establishments and their passionate dreams. To my surprise, some other their dreams were incredibly practical as teenagers, nothing fantastical or hard to reach. Yet, coming as undocumented immigrants some dreams are harder to reach than others. 

3. The overall story I am trying to highlight is a call to action to the disenfranchised youth of the future: to trailblaze the path of fulfillment as one generation has fallen and laid the foundation of survival. I believe our coming generation must build on this foundation and raise us higher than ever before. For example, my uncle, Tony, is pictured next to his car which might seem a little odd to think this represents anything. However, my uncles dream as a child in Mexico was to have a car and he much rather loved Mexico more than America. Why? Because he felt like an outsider being in America as a brown Mexican teenager, he thinks that his trip here stripped him of his youth. My uncle, Florentino, sleeping on a couch is representative of his 'nothing' dream he didn't know what he wanted as a kid. Completely lost and bold his dream lies forever dormant.

This story is incredibly important because as we stand alone in our path, it is very easy to feel like you're the only one that has ever dreamed of something bigger. Like if you're the only person in your family, neighborhood, or community: that wants something greater of yourself. When in fact, this isn't the case. Most of our community has fallen victim to the pressures of racial stigmatization, marginalization, and displacement. I believe the dream of the disenfranchised community that holds America together, is to give the youth a chance to fulfill the passions inside of us

emily

hernandez, 19

Hatchweys: La Familia Hernández

 

Compton has had a huge gang-affiliated reputation. From news outlets focusing on all the violence in this city to rappers helping craft a global notion of Compton being a battle zone of survival. Yet people outside of the city, do not know of the other layer of citizens that reside here. Yes, there are gangs in Compton, but they’re are gangs in other cities throughout the United States. There are families here, there are future change-makers, there are people in Compton. My project is a satirical piece on this notion. I have used Compton’s perceived image to showcase that there are actual families here when you look past the gangs. I used my own family, and we constructed our own gang, Hatchweys. I used commonly known gang traits and put our own family traditions twist on it (i.e drug dealing replaced with tamales). However, I also wanted to know what were possible reasons that this image came about. I decided to interview my mother who has lived in Compton since she was 6 years old about the history of Compton’s gang life along with her stance on the present. I believe that my story is important because it helps uncover and change the negative connotations of Compton. It will inspire others who reside in the city that there are reasons to love and cherish it. Overall all, it will hopefully get rid of Compton’s toxic image, and allow for it to recognized as a great city with a rich history,

noel

lopez, 18