White Liberals: Or “Tautua” and “Ifonga”? My Life in East Palo Alto
In this chapter, the author draws from her 40 years of community-based leadership in East Palo Alto, California, during an era of significant, continuing demographic shift. Her experience of racism and unsettling economics recalls another time in the author’s youth, in Samoa, where as a Pacific Islander she witnessed the harsh effects of intrusion by white Europeans and Americans. In an autobiographical writing that is part “testimonio” (after Menchu RI, Rigoberto Menchu: an Indian woman in Guatemala. Verso Books, London, 1983; and Cruz C, Int J Qual Stud Educ 14:657–669, 2001) and part “auto-ethnography” (after Reed-Danahay DE, Auto/ethnography: rewriting the self and the social. Berg, Oxford, 1997; and Chang H, Autoethnography as method. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, 2008), the author’s personal storytelling informs and modifies our understanding of abstract social constructs, and vice versa.
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