Race in LA: Shirlee Smith and Her Essay "We Don't Hire Colored Girls"
Today, we're devoting the show to a collaboration we launched in June with our friends at LAist.com. Over the past few months you may have caught a few segments on Take Two where you heard Angelenos reading their personal essays from a series called Race in LA.
The premise is simple: audience members are invited to write personal stories about how their race and/or ethnicity shapes their relationship with the world around them - then read them aloud on air.
Today we'll listen to some of the highlights from the Race in LA series and look ahead to where it's going in 2021.
First Up: Shirlee Smith, who tells the story of the job she applied for at 18 back in the 1950s – to work as operator for Cedars of Lebanon hospital, which became Cedars-Sinai. The job interview was on the phone and she was hired on the spot. Then she came in, in person, to report to work – and that's when her new employer saw for the first time that she's Black.
- Shirlee Smith, author of the LAist essay "We Don't Hire Colored Girls': After A Job Rejection In 1956, A Young LA Telephone Operator Began Kicking Down Doors."
Race in LA: Tracy Park's Essay "Dear Racist"
We are listening to some of the highlights from the Race in LA series and look ahead to where it's going in 2021. Next Up: Tracy Park and her essay "Dear Racist," which sprung directly from treatment she received at the start of the pandemic.
- Tracy Park, animation artist and author of LAist essay "Dear Racist"
Race in LA: Austin Cross on Being "Black and Tired in this American Newsroom"
We're listening back to some of the highlights from the Race in LA series. We even had colleagues of ours contribute so we brought in ATC host and former Take Two producer Austin Cross with his essay, "Black and Tired in this American Newsroom."
- Austin Cross, KPCC Host and author of the LAist essay, "Black and Tired in This American Newsroom"
Race in LA: James Rojas on "How an Outsider Found Identity...in a Redlined City"
We're listening back to some of the highlights from the Race in LA series and next up is James Rojas. He grew up in a Mexican American family, identifying as Chicano, on the Eastside of LA, and became an urban planner.
- James Rojas, urban planner and author of the LAist essay “How An Outsider Found Identity And Belonging In The Intangible Shared Spaces Of A Redlined City.”
Our series Race in LA will continue into the new year. If you’d like to participate, click on this link and go to LAist.com.