Representing in Red (Personal Essay)

The color red has always meant so many things to me, as a native Los Angeleno.During the 1980s, when gang strife between the Crips and the Bloods, was at its highest it wasn’t safe for a civilian to sport it on any part of their body. Then in the 1990s and most of the 2000s it was overwhelmingly utilized for Valentine’s Day promos at retail stores around the city. Now that I work as a Special Ed Instructional Assistant for LAUSD and the teachers are out on strike, the teacher I work with asked me to wear red every time I come to school to show support. Initially I assumed it would be easy to put together outfits with red as the theme, but the request has been as challenging as my workdays during the strike. To address it I created a capsule of sweaters, long-sleeved print shirts and jeans, khakis and others sturdy pants. Tough and vibrant the capsule held up surprisingly well despite the onslaught of rain I had the pleasure of slogging through during the week. Although my obstacle is not as arduous as the teachers fighting for better education it does give me a chance to step into their shoes as I help hold down the fort in their absence.