EPISODE 20 – LOS CUENTOS SUMMER BOOK CLUB WITH J.T.

In our twentieth episode, listeners are treated to the special final meeting for our first ever Los Cuentos Summer Book club this 2020, featuring Randy Jurado Ertll, the author of LA SIGUANABA AND THE MAGICAL LOROCO. We discuss Latin-American history with Ertll, inspiration for his work from places like Spain and South Central Los Angeles, his challenges writing and making books for the Central-American community, and more. A truly extraordinary session for listeners, with major thanks also to the InsideOUT Writers for hosting our club’s meeting over Zoom.

J.T.

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Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 51

Sprinkled along Santa Monica boulevard, coronavirus notwithstanding, sun-baked tios and tias clad in face-masks offer bouquets of red roses in time for the dia festivo. Inspired by the gleaming spirit of their calls, one day before Mother’s Day, I am gifting readers with a new category for mom’s Newsstand in East Hollywood, facilitating for visitors of the webpage some time to connect with a few of her cuentos; I offer the collection of words nestled by the category as my mom’s newsstand has offered the community literacy and information for nearly two decades: with an utmost belief that words can in fact change the world.

Happy Mother’s Day, Los Angeles

J.T.

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A Note to Los Shoppers during this COVID-19 Season

Doña Ana is a single mother of two teenage boys who makes her living taking care of her neighbors’ children while the parents go to work for the day. She had a shift this past Saturday, meaning that she could only get to the store after her neighbors returned from their shifts to pick up their little ones come evening. When Doña Ana finally got to the store with her boys, however, the shelves were cleared of groceries and carried no toilet paper. She now figures that she and her family can use scratch paper or coupon magazines in the interim. This is who panic buyers take away from the most.

J.T.

The Situation is Crucial in Los Angeles

In the last ten years, inequality across the city lines has never been more abundant. The number of unhoused people on the streets has skyrocketed, while political leadership on the issue has all but abandoned these citizens to the dust of L.A’s crust and freeways.

Just around the corner of makeshift “tent cities” founded by this inequality, minimum wage in Los Angeles continues to bleed workers out of their living; these workers are parents, siblings, community college students, and a myriad of other vulnerable people just trying to survive another day. Maybe another month.

At L.A.’s schools, swaths of students continue to be underserved while their teachers and counselors continue searching past the droves of work placed on their desks for a better way. Those teachers also continue to be widely underpaid.

L.A. as home appears to have never hung more in the balance. On some days it feels like I only see more of my community falling into the same old cliches.

And yet, here comes LOS CUENTOS.

Los Cuentos is love for my community. Just like my blog, Los Cuentos is an ode to my community recognizing the people of Los Angeles for who they are:

Resilient,

Loving,

Wonderous,

Heroes to this lover of all things Los Angeles.

It is between their shoulders that jimbo times was founded. And now it’s on their shoulders that we stand.

Los Cuentos hoodies are thus but a handful of precious threads to warm those awesome shoulders.

Our hoodies may not save the world for our community, but they will say thank you to their sacred beings.

Thank you is a start. As good of a start as we need right now. 40 Cuentos have become 9 Cuentos left to get out to the city.

Thank you Los Angeles,

J.T.

Every Month is Black History Month in the U.S.A.

There would not be any United States of America if it wasn’t for Black people.

From the moment the first ships docked to shore in Hampton, Virginia (1619),

To the final seconds of that fateful morning above the hills in Calabasas, Los Angeles,

Black stories have constituted American history since before it was a Union, and continue to do so to this day.

In Los Angeles, where would we be without our Black icons?

8:24, Nipsey Hussle, Tupac Amaru Shakur, Angela Yvonne Davis; that’s just the beginning.

We recognize their voices as we open this Mic,

But we also recognize:

Black mothers,

Black fathers,

Black brothers,

Black sisters,

Black grandmothers,

Black grandfathers,

Communities in Historic South Central,

In Compton and Watts.

From Long Beach, to Inglewood,

To Leimert Park, West Adams, and beyond.

We recognize:

Black custodians,

Black bus drivers,

Black shopkeepers,

Black cooks,

Black healers,

Black teachers,

Black artists,

Black authors,

And especially

Black poets.

In the words of

Langston Hughes,

Who would also come

To greet sunny Los Angeles:

‘I too,

Sing America.’

We too

Will sing!

Now,

Let’s get this

Open Mic going.

J.T.

EPISODE 13 – BETHANEE EPIFANI

In our 13th episode, we sit down with Bethanee Epifani for a discussion on “cultural work” in Los Angeles vis-a-vis the publication of her second book, Don’t Fall Prey! Our discussion touches on the need for more Black spaces in L.A., as well as Bethanee’s very own live event for her book taking place this Saturday, February 29th, 2020 at South LA Cafe. To learn more about Bethanee’s work, find her on Instagram @bepifani.

J.T.

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Get Your First Ever Los Hoodies by Jimbo Times

Los Cuentos Hoodies – $40.00

Black & White, & Maroon. Both 50% pre-shrunk cotton, both 50% polyester. Super comfy!

Place your payment for your hoodie via VENMO.

J.T.

EPISODE 9 – THIS SIDE OF HOOVER

In our ninth episode, we link up with Samanta Helou-Hernandez, whose page This Side of Hoover on Instagram documents the ongoing gentrification of the Virgil Village area in Los Angeles. Samanta describes how her own experience with displacement led her to start photographing her community, and also discusses working with us for the first-ever Back 2 School Party in East Hollywood. We also discuss her reporting on the local Union Swap Meet, thoughts on the L.A. Times, and more. Visit This Side of Hoover on Instagram: @thissideofhoover

J.T.

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EPISODE 1 – INTRODUCTIONS

In our first official podcast ever, Ed and I describe community organizing in East Hollywood, fundraising for our 2nd annual Back to School Party, and facing down other challenges in grassroots coalition building through Los Angeles. We also tell you a little about ourselves and why our experiences matter for our work with youth and education.

J.T.

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