Filtering by Tag: Michelle Dizon

The Insistent Eye/I: On the Work of Michelle Dizon by Annie Buckley

Added on by Shona Masarin.

It was Spring 1992 and I was six months into my new job as a third grade teacher. The school where I was assigned was a mere ten-minute drive from the ranch house where I grew up, but in Los Angeles, proximity does not equal similarity. While I had been raised in relative privilege, my students were living in poverty; my parents had come to California from the East Coast, and my students were the children of immigrants from Mexico and Central America. One morning that April, as our class met, the city outside learned that the four white Los Angeles police officers who had been caught on tape beating a black man, Rodney King, would be acquitted of any wrongdoing. Within the walls of the school, the students recited the date, "Hoy es miercoles, el veintinueve de abril, mil novecientos noventa y dos," unaware of the news, and the morning passed calmly enough. But walking to class after recess, the sky was dark. "Huele humo," the students said, "It smells like smoke." We peered over the balcony to see smoke blossoming in dark clouds from buildings around the perimeter of the school.

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