Student Supporter Speaks Out

Darrell Goode, director of TRIO/Pico Partnership student support services, was born in Tennessee, but relocated at a very young age of 3 to Venice, California.

He describes a vivid Santa Monica community when he was growing up.

Goode says his accomplishments stem from a long history of struggle and shortcomings being a black child in Santa Monica.

Consequently, many of his actions would gain him respect from a community that had shown him none.

"Most of the family who own prime realty around Olympic and 28th Street were flushed when the freeway was built and than again when the drugs reigned during the late '70s through to the '80s," said Goode.

The freeway cut through the corridor and most of African Americans, Latinos and Jews were pushed out of the community.

When the police were called they would just roll over on the issue of drugs in the community, Goode said.

Goode talked about how he remembers attending Venice High and being the first generation to experience the results of Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark court ruling that ended state-sanctioned segregation.

The school district was given permission to move at "all deliberate speed," which meant that the district could take their time, he said.

While attending a projection class during his senior year, with his peers, which was different from most of his other classes with Caucasian students, he noticed that the same math teacher of his previous class was teaching projection to minorities in an undisciplined fashion.

In frustration, Goode courageously kicked the projector over and watched it smash into thousands of pieces.

What he did could have launched a protest. Goode was not punished for his action.

He speculated it was because he had told Venice High the truth - that the same teacher taught two classes differently based on the ethnicity in the class.

Goode, who is also president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Santa Monica/Venice Branch, recalls a protest on Sears in the downtown center of Santa Monica because they had not hired any blacks.

One man who ran a local garage would help Goode and his friends by mentoring them about the importance of staying in school, and to keep them focused he would often fix their cars so they could continue to go class.

Goode remembers Captain Robert Lee Campbell, Goode's neighbor who served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, would not allow them to call one another the "N" word or the "B" word.

"We were to never disrespect ourselves," he said.

"I guess the virus never took. I was not willing to second-guess myself, compromising my heritage," said Goode.

In addition to Goode's decorated character. he received his B.A. from UC Irvine and his master's in education, and has traveled to Japan, learning a second language and mastering karate, which means "open hand." Goode is a black belt and he is a Sensei.

Goode says he is proud to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Alfred Quinn, a Santa Monica resident who was the first African-American Santa Monica elementary teacher to promote the idea of 'pass the torch'.

In Goode's office there is a portrait of Malcolm X. When asks why he chose Malcolm X rather than Martin Luther King Jr., he replied it is the "by any means necessary" philosophy that has gotten him were he is today.

Goode shares his experiences with his son, one of two children, that opportunity is worth fighting for.

"When a door opens, be ready to walk through it," said Goode's son, Scottie Goode, 21, a political science major attending UC Riverside and planning to travel abroad to China and attend Peking University.

Goode's daughter, Marsha Williams, 19, will be attending SMC this spring and wants to study art.