Joelett’s Interview with Lisa Franklin

Mrs. Franklin

The person I interviewed is Lisa Franklin. As a woman in her 50’s she is part of the legendary Gen X generation. Furthermore, Lisa was born in Japan on a military base and moved to California when she was child. She grew up in Pasadena, California with her aunt and attended University of Southern California where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. After college, she started her career in Technical Sales at AT&T. While she was born in Japan, her nationality is half African American and half Philipino. Lisa is married and has two children. Briana, her daughter is 20 years old and attends her alma mater and Jordan, her son, who recently graduated from UC Davis. 

“ I always had to navigate and I had a lot of support, but I had to make things happen for myself.”

Lisa Franklin

During this interview Lisa’s voice spoke to me and the topics and issues we have discussed in class such as colorism, presidential election,voter suppression, identity, representation, and gender equality. These are issues that matter in our society and determine our future. Such as the presidential election and the present can greatly impact our future and shape or lives and our children’s lives. “When we work together and put our mind to it, change will occur.” Lisa’s ideologies are very similar to what we have learned in class. When I heard Lisa speak she was compassionate and dedicated for a change for African American men and women, most importantly she was hopeful. Lisa stated “this shows all of us we make a difference and when we work together and put our mind to it and get involved we can make changes and so I think that’s the biggest thing.” in addition to this lisa said “I also think we have suffered under the Trump administration and any black person who says they haven’t is really, you know, not connected or taking a deep look. It’s not going to be perfect but I think Biden has always had his eye on black issues or people not as privileged. These past four years have been people of privilege.”

 “I mean I  think the advantages are the way a lot of little black girls or a lot of young women are raised. They have to be that much better and work that much harder in order to be considered or maybe equal and considered to be able to compete with a white woman.  

Lisa Franklin

Suppressed: 50 years later 

One important topic I will highlight is Voter suppression within African Americans like the voter suppression youtube video Suppressed: The Fight to Vote. It is extremely hard for African Americans in poverty to take off work, and stand in line for hours. I have seen through multiple news sources how voter suppression is implemented into low income areas and while I hope for change, I know that it will take a lot of power to change. Lisa referenced this when she said “but a lot of times people will stand in line for the latest whatever, regardless of Xbox, shoes, makeup for hours.” This reminded me of how on Black Friday people would camp out the night before. I believe that people should take that same approach when waiting in line to vote for the presidential election. 

Feminism: Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?” (2002) Do women in general need saving ? 

“When you save someone, you imply that you are saving her from something. You are also saving her to something”(Abu-Lughod). Lila Abu-Lughod strongly opposes the question of whether women need to be saved in this world. When we talk about religion and gender today we often think about individualism and human rights. In certain religions, gender is specifically identified as only men and women are allowed to exist in this word. There are people in this world who don’t identify as either and place themselves somewhere else on the gender spectrum, so what about them? Each person is an individual, and every person has their rights to be who they are. For countries who are under governors of capitalism, where people are not free to identify themselves with what they truly want to be; the governments, or the society decides for them. When it comes to feminism Lisa states “women are powerful, [and] definitely the brains and the energy of the house. So if a woman is known for something and she feels convicted she will be able to convince her family and it starts there.” It’s generational, if you find a woman that’s into voting and wants to vote most likely she learned from the older generation, like her mother, aunt, or grandma. If you find someone that does not believe in the power of voting the most likely learned that from the older generation as well. Women in households “set the tone for a lot of things.” one of those things being voting/politics. 

Is Our Voice Heard: Do we need to be Angry

During the semester we talked about Representation in many forms  and African Americans being Misrepresented. Lisa states people who have representation “probably, sadly, are the entertainers, football players, basketball players… people you know that have status, the people with the power who are accepted by the mainstream media”. Lisa also mentions that “the common black man probably is under-represented and that the lives of black men in the US have long been adversely affected by negative public perceptions.” They are often turned away from jobs because they are not the “right fit”. She also discussed the misrepresentation of African American women. lisa mentioned that she would face Stereotypes such as “being angry black women or just that [she] always [had] to have the last word because [black women] do. Because [their] voices aren’t heard. Sometimes [they] have to yell. So sometimes [she’s] not as fun as the white person. Because [she has] things on my mind and [she] knows what needs to be done in order to be successful.” We are able to represent ourselves. 

“As a black woman we always have to have the last word because WE DO. Because our voices aren’t heard.”

It’s Our Body

A famous feminist Mary Crane Deer defines pro-life feminists as those who respect life before and after birth, but they are not just about legalizing abortion, they want to alleviate the causes for abortion. With this in mind, abortion then can be seen as a result of violent state policies – because the government does not provide proper or adequate support needed to help mothers raise their children, abortion comes in as the alternate option the reason they are unwanted in the first place is because it’s extremely hard to support or care for. The lack of government aid simply motivates them to seek alternatives like abortion. Lisa is supportive on feminist . She says the future is bright and we will continue to empower each other & support. however, she states that “as black women we have some improvement and are kinda jealous of each other and we don’t wanna help each other unless a certain thing, and they might come to take our jobs. I think Black women are  a lot more still, a lot more afraid. It takes so much for us to get somewhere, we often feel intimidated and help and mentor other women. So I hope Kamala that huge and she is definitely for women empowerment and things like that.”

“I think Black women are a lot more still, a lot more afraid. It takes so much for us to get somewhere”

19th Century

One pro-life feminist we discussed in class is from  from the 19th century is Anandi Gopal Joshi who was not only the first female doctor in India, but was also the first Southeast Asian Hindu to get an MD in the U.S. She went back to India after getting her MD and became the first female doctor, Lisa believes women are the future, She refers how 90% of Black women voted this past election. 

This interview meant so much to me, It educated me, provided insight. There is a lot of information spoken out to me, and while I felt that I knew about this topics, lisa’s perspective enlightened me and helped me gain a better understanding of black women and women in general. One quote in particular Lisa stated is:

  “ I alway had to navigate. I had a lot of support, but I had to make it happen by  myself.” 

Brace for  Impact

This happens a lot in life. In humble beginnings it reminds me a lot of the old saying my dad used to say “you can walk the horse but you can’t make him drink it.” Meaning, You can push people hard  in life only if they want to. When you push hard in life, what can become of it. The future is what you make it.  Change is necessary for growth. I learned a lot independence and strength and a lot of insightful information. As regards to being a woman and a African American woman, Lisa stated how we always have to work ten times harder and smarter to half of someone is true simply based on systematic racism.