Jaime Escalante with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Eric Garcetti at Los Angeles City Hall September 2009. Photo: Ed Fuentes
FIELD NOTES: Recent chat on late East Los Angeles educator Jaime Escalante being portrayed on a stamp prompted me to dig out this photo from my archives. Artist Justin Favela, and doctoral candidate, Emmanuel Ortega, also had memories prompted by Escalante postage. On their podcast "Latinos Who Lunch," in Episode 6: Stand and Echale Ganas, they talk about the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," the representation of Latinos in media, and education at high-risk schools.
"Stand And Deliver" bronzed Escalante's legacy in Latino culture and there has been genuine excitement about the stamp. Around one hundred people gathered at Garfield High School to honor the moment. "The U.S. Postal Service reviews thousands of applications each year and issues just 10 to 15 new stamps, and they rarely feature historical figures," reported the Los Angeles Times.
Actor Edward James Olmos, who portrayed Escalante in the film, was at the official unveiling at the 87th conference of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington, D.C. "It gives us a sense of who we are, a sense of dignity, of fortitude. I don't know one president, one pope, one engineer, one sports giant, one astronaut, that could have done it without a teacher," Olmos said.
Hector Ponce "Los Angeles Teachers" (1997) next to Mac Arthur Park in Los Angeles. "Stand and Deliver mural" Photo by Alissa Walker . Published under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License.
ABOVE: James Turrell at Crystals monorail station.