It’s interesting how we can celebrate historical events and not really know what we are celebrating. If you ask any American about The Battle of Puebla not too many would know how to respond. Even in the Mexican-American community the response wouldn’t be much better.
Having watched Jewel’s Catch One documentary on Netflix in preparation for my conversation with the icon and LGBTQ activist, Jewel Thais-Williams, I was prepared to meet a woman with a larger than life personality. But when I walked through the doors of the Village Health Foundation, I met a meek, firmly planted soul, whose presence was so calming it made me want to just sit in silence with her.
I'm not sure if you're aware, but it's the South Bay who has the highest concentration of Samoans outside of the mainland,” says Lakei Tuiasosopo (”Lake” for short), a half-Samoan professional who resides there. At only 27 years old, his pride for the culture is unwavering. “We are strong. We didn't allow the United States to fully take over as other islands have.”
What was scheduled as a one-hour interview ended up being a two-hour and forty-five-minute soul-stirring history lesson that will be with me always? Every wall was eloquently outfitted in pieces of art from artists around the world. Every word was passionately spoken. And every moment was a refreshing reminder that Black people are indefinably brilliant and unambiguously fascinating.