By Joshua Castro
Milestone, the literary arts journal for East Los Angeles College since 1950, has been virtually disregarded by the ELAC Bookstore for nearly a decade.
I was first introduced to Milestone back in the fall of 2011 by English professor Susan Suntree, and was elated to discover a creative arts scene on ELAC’s campus. But when I visited the ELAC Bookstore to purchase my own copy, there were no Milestone copies on display.
I asked the sales clerk and found that she was clueless to Milestone’s existence. I pressed further, and copies of Milestone, published earlier that Spring, were eventually found in a back storage room. Curious, I asked when the last copy of Milestone 2011 had been sold: the store records indicated it had been seven months.Years went by after this initial purchase, but the relationship between Milestone and the ELAC Bookstore never changed. With each successive annual Milestone release, copies remained in boxes hidden behind the register counter. Over time, as my involvement with Milestone cultivated, I pleaded with the ELAC Bookstore to prominently display the magazine- But to no avail.
Spring 2016: The grand opening of the new ELAC College Store (formerly Bookstore) came and went—and with it any hope that the store would finally support Milestone. The latest edition, Milestone 2015: Real Stories of East L.A. remained hidden from view behind register counters, or on lower-level textbook shelves.
Fall 2017: Milestone visibility is all but non-existent in the College Store. Frustrated, I grab twenty copies from a bottom textbook shelf and proceed to defiantly display Milestone 2015 in key areas of the store, including the “school spirit” rack, and at the head of the register line, where I cleared a shelf of candy. The next week, my displays were dismantled.