My name is Janis Cowser and I am Political Activist & Author.
Who am I?
I am Daughter, I am Sister, I am Mother and 64 years Grandmother with three Grandchildren’s.
I have already copyright three manuscripts and just about to copy right my fourth manuscript.
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Minor in Psychology from
California State University, Dominguez Hills
The Degree of Associate in Arts Liberal Art from
Los Angeles Southwest College
Rio Hondo College
P.C. 832- AWARDED
About the Author
My name is Janis Cowser, and I grew up in watts, which is a part of South Central Los Angeles. I came from a family of six children and I also had three stepbrothers, whom lived with their mother name Bee, for a total of nine children. I and my step brothers all had the same last name as our father, which is Cowser. At an early age I was exposed violence, and learned prejudice from my real father, who died in jail.
I witnessed my uncle almost getting his thumb cut off from a strange man, while living in the Nickeson Garden Housing Project. Furthermore, I witnessed my oldest brother get hit by a diesel truck and he had to wear a colostomy bag on his side for 1O years. Somehow I got blamed for my brother’s tragic accident.
From that day on was I called the bad twin, and I played that role as a child.
Sometime later, after the accident, my mother and step father moved us out of the housing project to east 97 th street, in South Central Los Angeles. My childhood life continued to be negative. I continued to get kicked out of school until the eighth grade. My mother had told me she was going to lock me up and I believed her. Because of going to school in the inner city, when I did attend school, the teachers I had did not know how to interact well with the inner city kids, although some tried their best. Therefore I never learned how to read well and I never knew how to spell or write a paper correctly.
My mother and step father were just trying to keep a roof over our heads. They tried to teach us the right values in life, and right morals in society as well.
I learned prejudice from my real father, when I was spending the night with him and my stepmother. My father told me that all white people were “peckerwood, blue-eyed devils.” He told me that they were “out to mess over all black people, and they would never give a black person a fair chance in life.” He went on to tell me that “white people could not be trusted, that they were the enemy.” Anyway, then I had never met a white person or even seen one.
Well it was during the first watts riots in 1965 that I met a white army sergeant, coming down 97th street with a gun and an army truck. I ran up to this white man and asked him “was he a peckerwood and the blue -eyed devil” and “the enemy of the black people.” That was my first exposure to a white person.
This white man was very nice to me. This Sgt. Asked were I learned those words, I replied from my father. The Sgt. Said my father was wrong to teach me prejudice. He said he was sorry that my father felt this way and maybe my father had a bad experience with some Caucasian people. He said that he was just a little pale, but their race was called Caucasian. He continued to say that there are bad people in all groups of race’s. The truth was you cannot judge people of the same color to be all the same. Furthermore this man said that life was changing for the Negroes in today’s society. He continued to say that the Civil Rights Movement is changing things, and life will be better for the Negro people.
He said I can be anything I want to be when I grow up. I could be in the army if I wished. After talking with me for maybe five minutes, the Sgt. left. The Sgt., The truck, and the men with guns continued to march down the street, until I could no longer see them. This man had changed my whole attitude about life, about prejudice, and how I felt about white people. I no longer believed what my father said about Caucasian people. I then asked my father about what the strange man said. My father replied with this answer. “Oh, he was a different peckerwood.” “What do you mean differently?”I said. He replied “There are some good peckerwood people in this world.”
I learned that prejudice and discrimination can only be taught and learned though family and friends at an early age. If not caught in time, that is where prejudice begins and ignorance turns into racism and discrimination when one becomes an adult.
Moving right along, I married my childhood sweetheart, after high school, who was in the army. Therefore, I was never concerned about learning to read or write. I was separated from my first husband, and on my way to divorce court with one child.
Finally at 24 years old, I could only read at a 3rd grade level, I was once an illiterate person. I decided to attend college. I entered Southwest Jr. College in 1977 and meet a guidance counselor name Flora Hawkins, who had a master’s degree, who encouraged me to enroll in the learning center, at the Jr. College. Mrs. Hawkins knew that I had a problem with English. Throughout college I continued to fail English. I transferred to Dominguez Hills University and still had problems with my English, and was failing all my English classes.
At one time an English professor gave me an “F” in the English class. He told me to Drop out of the class, and Drop out of college because I was never going to pass an English course. even if hell freeze over. I almost quit college, because I was so discouraged. .
Then I meet a lady name Rhena, who work in the learning centering at Dominguez Hills University. She told me “keeping trying and you will succeed with English.” You see, I worked as a waitress, made easy money in the night club called the Cover Girl, in Culver City, California. But, that life was not for me. I wanted more out of my life.
I stayed in school, and I received my Associate In Arts from Los Angeles Southwest College, January 26, 1979. Finally I received my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University, Dominguez Hills on July 30, 1982. Also, I attended Rio Hondo Police Academy and completed a P. C. 832 arrest course (post certified) on June 21, 1985. It took me 6 years to finish College, and I only succeeded because I had help from a few mentors. These were people that encouraged me and helped me to believe in myself.
After received my B.A. Degree, I tried out for the Los Angeles City Fire Department. I was one of the first female fire fighter candidates in the whole State of California. I was picked from several hundred women. Due to a bad injury on my shoulder, I failed the physical test after training a whole year in that small group of 20 physically strong women. After not making it in, (first female in the Los Angeles City Fire Department), I went to the Los Angeles County Probation Department. I resigned after nine years and 10 months.
I moved to Hawaii to get marry my current husband whom I met while vacationing in the islands in 1994. Our wedding was on valentines day ’95. I am an African American and my EX- husband is a Caucasian with English heritage who is a descendant of King Henry II of England.
I realized that there was a cultural difference between us; Therefore, I decided to write this book “Loving In Color” which was copyright and I have Certificate of Registration of Title of work July 9, 1997.
I wanted to help others understand what is involved in interracial and intercultural marriage and relationships.
I did extensive research about the love side, the problems of, and the motives behind interracial and intercultural marriages and relationships.
Furthermore I have copyright and I have Certificate of Registration of Title of work “Planet Negro”as well as Title of work “$710 A Month/Live Hawaii Well” which is in Production now and will be out this year in 2017.