Wanda

My religion is Love and Help. I don't care what you call it. If you don't have Love and Help in your heart I don't care what you call your religion. I think you have to make the change. You have to be the change to help other people change. And I believe in my heart, in Boulder Creek, I have changed people's attitudes.
 
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Wanda

 Wanda with her grandchildren Justice and Nate. “I will stand up. I may be 5 feet and a quarter, but I will stand up tall, and I will defend my rights and anybody else's rights, whether I like you or not. I showed 'em what I'd do for myself, I showed 'em what I'd do for my son, and if anything happens to my grandkids, it's on.

Wanda with her grandchildren Justice and Nate. “I will stand up. I may be 5 feet and a quarter, but I will stand up tall, and I will defend my rights and anybody else's rights, whether I like you or not. I showed 'em what I'd do for myself, I showed 'em what I'd do for my son, and if anything happens to my grandkids, it's on.

 

What's it like being Black in Santa Cruz?

I never really encountered a lot of racism until I came to Santa Cruz County from New Jersey in 1978...I was racially profiled...When a person gets stopped 6 times in 6 days is not issued a ticket, that's racial profiling: 'DWB'—Driving While Black or Brown...My son was racially profiled. I had to pull him out of school in first grade because two teachers told him he needed to be around Black people and Black teachers.
You're supposed to treat your kids like roses, make them flourish and grow, not wither and die like weeds. And it still hurts my heart, after almost 22 years. About how they could hurt a little child like this.
 
 Wanda styles and chats with Barbara Burns, owner of the Hair Hut in Boulder Creek where Wanda worked for years—the only Black stylist in San Lorenzo Valley. People still stop her and exclaim, ‘Wanda, you used to do my hair!’

Wanda styles and chats with Barbara Burns, owner of the Hair Hut in Boulder Creek where Wanda worked for years—the only Black stylist in San Lorenzo Valley. People still stop her and exclaim, ‘Wanda, you used to do my hair!’

 
 "The Oddfellow and Rebekah Lodge are my family. Their mission statement is, first comes your higher power, whatever it is, then comes your family and friends, and you reach out in the community. It took me 6 months to join because people told me it was the Boulder Creek Klan, and I said well if I'm going to be the first Black Boulder Creek Klan member I need to know this! And then I got involved and it wasn't. And I told people you're wrong. It's a service organization. "

"The Oddfellow and Rebekah Lodge are my family. Their mission statement is, first comes your higher power, whatever it is, then comes your family and friends, and you reach out in the community. It took me 6 months to join because people told me it was the Boulder Creek Klan, and I said well if I'm going to be the first Black Boulder Creek Klan member I need to know this! And then I got involved and it wasn't. And I told people you're wrong. It's a service organization. "