Jangchup Phelgyal

Born Hawkins Mitchell in Southeast San Diego and sent to St. Augustine High School, he was a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford. He began writing feature stories for the Reader at the urging of Judith Moore in the mid-1990s. In the late 90s, Mitchell became Jangchup Phelgyal after converting to Buddhism.

His stories include the following:

Feb. 16, 1995 Growing Up Negro in San Diego (autobiography - early years)

Jan. 11, 1996 Will California Kill Latwon Weaver?

Aug. 29, 1996 Whites Feel As If This Country Belongs to them

June 12, 1997 Dear Sister Philomena (a stern lady who changed children's lives)

June 14, 2001, page 42 What Price Glory? (alcoholism and writers)

Be sure to save the story file to your desktop and zoom in to read the text.

Articles by Jangchup Phelgyal

My first day in school was really my second day

It was September 1950, and that first day of school my brown uniform shirt scratched, the heavy corduroy pants were stiff with newness, my suspenders would not stay up, and my new shoes (bought a ...

Leontyne and Me

I met Joseph when I was 25 and he was 52, eight years younger than I am now. I shared my one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side in New York City with night-crawling cockroaches ...

Dear People: Remembering Jonestown

“A child who had just gotten to Jonestown, writing back to a friend, ended his letter with a request: ‘Please send me gum.’”

What Happens After a Kid Goes Bad?

These are accounts of ten angry young men with nothing to lose. Mayhem at home, drugs and alcohol, gang warfare, drive-by shootings, armed robbery — even murder — and always stints behind bars with a ...

The Black Memory Market

Collectors snap up the African-American past.

When public television’s Antiques Roadshow rolled into the convention center the last weekend in June 2001, local collectors crowed. Suddenly San Diego seemed invested, artifact-wise, with the status of a major metropolitan center like Chicago ...

Atrocious Act

Black Muslims react with horror to September 11.

Given their numbers, Mahdi said he was surprised when Oprah Winfrey interviewed Muslims for her show, a program called "Islam 101," and did not speak with one African-American.

Their Hair Was Huge, Their Speech Was Loud, and Their Message Was Simple: Revolution Now!

Where are San Diego's black activists now?

Members of the United Domestic Workers have packed the main chamber and spilled into rooms across the hall and upstairs. When the vote is taken, Fahari Jeffers and Ken Seaton-Msemaji are seated in the paneled main chambers.


Introduction to a secret brother

My mother parked the truck on my foot three hours after my father told me that he loved me. It was March 1965, I was 20 years old, and that was the first time my ...

A House and a Tree Spell Contentment to Me

Olive Street residents can't get much closer.

In 1957 an earth-fill bridge replaced the old wood-and-iron one, which had been the center of controversy for many years. San Diego youths had seen the bridge timbers as a challenge and had often made the climb.

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