We are very proud of our bilingual exhibit Las Voces del Lowcountry which features oral histories from Latinos in the Lowcountry as well as art by Latino artists. Below are excerpts from Lydia’s oral history. ... “Something spoke in my heart, “Lydia, there are a lot of Hispanics,” especially when you drive down Ashley Phosphate, they are at the gas station there, the BP, there are a lot of Hispanics, like one hundred every day [...] And when I saw this, I said, “that does not make us look good, it does not,” because I know that all of those people are decent people, hardworking, but there has to be a way that I can help them to have more order. […] I helped the community for free in the courts, taking them to different sites, and I tried to help them in the same way with navigating the government systems, etc.
One of the things that I promised myself is that I would not earn one cent from another person. I worry about this a lot because it is difficult, as a disabled person, I only receive one check from social security, but to this day, I have succeeded, and to this day I lack nothing. So yes I have been able to see how lives have changed through the work we have done, and I say community leader, but honestly I feel like a servant more than anything.” Lydia was born in Puerto Rico in 1962 and moved to South Carolina in 1989. As a Puerto Rican she enjoys the right of U.S. citizenship. Lydia emerged as a community leader after witnessing the victimization of her Latino neighbors in North Charleston and providing them with assistance.
To read more oral histories please visit the link in our bio to see the full Las Voces del Lowcountry exhibit.
Photo Source: One Part Emerges and One Part Submerges, painting by Maribel Acosta, Charleston, South Carolina, 2013.
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