Gallery LAPD Chief William H. Parker, “warden of the ghetto,” and Mayor Sam Yorty at the Police Academy graduation ceremony, 1961. During Parker’s seventeen-year tenure (1950–66), he replaced boss rule with cop rule and was politically invulnerable—thanks to lifetime tenure, a Hollywood publicity machine, and a blackmail bureau that rivaled J. Edgar Hoover’s. Photo credit: Sam Yorty Collection, City Clerk’s Office © City of Los Angeles.The biggest all-Black gathering in American history (up to that point) took place in L.A. One hundred thousand people met at the Coliseum in 1972 in “celebration of Blackness” on the seventh anniversary of the Watts uprising for the Wattstax music festival, organized by Stax Records. The festival opened with Jesse Jackson leading a call-and-response “I Am Somebody!” (Al Bell of Stax Records to his right). Courtesy Wattstax and the Saul Zaenz Company 2004.Japanese-American students at UCLA started publishing a monthly newspaper in 1968—they called it Gidra, and it became the voice of the Asian American movement. Their Women’s Liberation issue in January 1971 included a half-page photo of the women on the staff—suggesting, Laura Pulido wrote, “a higher level of collective feminist consciousness” than existed in either the Chicana movement or the Black Panthers. Photo by Mike Murase.Starting in a Watts housing project, Johnnie Tillmon built a pioneer welfare rights organization that became a model for other cities. Being on welfare, she said, was like being in a “supersexist marriage: You trade in ‘a’ man for ‘The’ Man,” but you can’t divorce him if he treats you bad. He can divorce you, of course—cut you off—any time he wants. But in that case, ‘he’ keeps the kids, not you.” Here she addresses Mother’s Day March, with welfare rights leader George A. Wiley sitting beside her and Ethel Kennedy looking on, Washington, D.C., circa 1968–1969. Photo credit: George A. Wiley Papers/Wisconsin Historical Society. WHi-8771.Wonder Woman defeats the AMA and “Pro-Life” Christians: Sister Magazine, July 1973, cover. To overcome the “humiliation and helplessness” women felt when doctors called them “difficult” for “asking questions” (in the words of Barbara Ehrenreich), Carol Downer and Lorraine Rothman taught women to do cervical self-examinations, and started the first Feminist Women’s Health Center in L.A. in 1972. The goal: women’s right to control their own bodies. Artist: Carol Clement.Chicano Moratorium, August 29, 1970. Photo © Devra A. Weber.Chicano Moratorium, August 29, 1970. With 25,000 marchers in East L.A., the anti-war movement crossed a new threshold as thousands of ordinary working-class people from one of the most patriotic communities in the US chanted “Raza si, guerra no!” And the march was entirely peaceful—until it was attacked and broken up by sheriff ’s deputies. Photo by Allen Zak.In Los Angeles, Black and Chicano junior and senior high school students were the most important social force behind the great protest wave of 1967–71. Here, youth from the Florencia barrio of South Central Los Angeles arrive at Belvedere Park for La Marcha Por La Justicia, January 31, 1971. Photo by Luis C. Garza. Courtesy of the photographer and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.The Doors on the Venice Beach Boardwalk—December 20, 1969. Venice, a vibrant counterculture community since the Fifties, with a black neighborhood that went back to the twenties, fought high-rise developers and frequent LAPD sweeps of the beach and boardwalk. Photo credit: © Henry Diltz, 1969While Black students at Valley State found themselves tied up in felony trials with their leaders sentenced to prison, Chicano students focused on nonviolent efforts to establish their own community-oriented Chicano Studies department. The campus Chicano House burned on May 6, 1970—the cause was never found—but the campaign eventually succeeded at building one of the strongest Chicano Studies departments in the country. MEChA silent march at Valley State protests burning of Chicano House, May 6, 1970. Photo © by Ismael J. Campuzano, courtesy of rudyacuna.net.In Los Angeles, unlike the Bay Area, the most politically active campuses were not the big universities but rather state and community colleges. Valley State in the almost all white West Valley was the regional epicenter. Demanding a Black Studies program, Black students occupied the administration building, leading to what the LA Times called “the first mass prosecution in this country of campus activists on felony charges. Photo credit: The Crisis, November 1969, published by the NAACP.Angela Davis was charged with murder after guns she purchased were used in a courtroom shoot-out in northern California. Her imprisonment and trial made her the most famous Black political prisoner in American history. The international “Free Angela” campaign was the biggest and most successful defense effort of the era. In the end, the jury acquitted her of all charges. “Free Angela Davis” poster, 1970; Peace Press, Los Angeles. Courtesy of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.After the four-hour LAPD attack on the Black Panther headquarters in South Central in December 1969—the LA Times called it “one of the biggest shootouts in American history”—Angela Davis led a protest march to LA City Hall and spoke from the steps. Photo by Rolland J. Curtis. Rolland J. Curtis Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.In 1969 the UCLA philosophy department hired Angela Davis, a stellar graduate student mentored by Herbert Marcuse, the most popular Marxist thinker of the era. An undercover agent exposed her membership in the Communist Party, and the Regents fired her, but the courts promptly reinstated her. Here she enters Royce Hall at UCLA for her first lecture in October 1969—2,000 students showed up. At her right, Che-Lumumba Club leader Kendra Alexander. Photo by George Louis via Wikimedia Commons.The LAPD in 1968–69 enlarged its Metropolitan Division from 70 to 200 officers and, with help from the FBI COINTELPRO’s dirty tricks campaign, went after the Panthers with high-intensity harassment and wild police violence. Police frame-ups and internecine violence incited by the FBI precipitated a rapid decline in the Party’s membership and influence. Black Panther funeral, Los Angeles 1971. Charles Brittin photo. Courtesy of Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.John Huggins was one of three key leaders of the LA Panthers in 1969 when he and Bunchy Carter were shot and killed at UCLA. What was widely perceived as their heroic martyrdom spurred membership in the Panthers and brought crisis to Karenga and US. John Huggins poster 1969 © 2019 Emory Douglas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; courtesy of Oakland Museum of California.Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter (right) with Eldridge Cleaver (in dark glasses). Carter had been imprisoned in Soledad with Cleaver and afterwards followed him into the Panthers. He became a peacemaker who attempted to cool tensions with Ron Karenga’s US Organization. Carter, together with fellow chapter leader John Huggins, was murdered in UCLA’s Campbell Hall in 1969 by a US gunman who subsequently fled the country. Eldridge Cleaver Photography Collection, The Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley; courtesy of Roger Williams University and Kathleen Cleaver.Boys outside Roosevelt High School in East L.A. in 1970, encouraging other students to come out and join the picket line to protest conditions at the school. Unlike the movement in South Central, the East L.A. Blowouts did not demand integration or busing to better schools. They wanted reforms in situ, under community control, with bilingual classes as the bottom line. Photo credit © Devra A. Weber.Sal Castro with walkout students at Lincoln High School, March 1968. Castro, a high school teacher long active in liberal and Mexican-American causes, was a key force in organizing student walkouts to protest school conditions in East L.A. The “Blowouts,” as they were soon called, were genesis events in the emergence of a new, militant “Chicano” identity. Photo credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.The Battle of Sunset Strip, from 1966 to 1968, was the most celebrated episode in the struggle of teenagers of all colors during the 1960s and 1970s to create their own realm of freedom and carnivalesque sociality within the Southern California night. Here the Peace and Freedom Party connected the kids’ protests with the Black Panthers. Sunset Strip poster, 1965. Collection of Mike Davis.The Vietnam War era saw the largest movement against the draft since World War I. Draft resistance quickly became the leading edge of the anti-war movement; resisters served the same role in the anti-war movement that Freedom Riders and students sitting in at lunch counters had played in the civil rights movement. Photo credit: L.A. Resistance Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.The Peace and Freedom Party collected 37,000 signatures in L.A. County to get the Party on California’s presidential ballot in 1968—a tremendous achievement. Although Dick Gregory, the greatly admired satirist-activist, was a candidate for the party’s nomination, the Black Panther Party insisted that Peace and Freedom nominate Eldridge Cleaver despite the fact that he was under 35 and thus ineligible to run. Cleaver, the loose cannon in the Panther leadership, soon lost all interest in the campaign. Caption Ref: Cleaver for President Poster, Peace and Freedom Party, Black Panther Party. Credit Ref: Printed by The Bindwood Press, 1968.At the Century City protest, instead of arresting the people sitting-in, officials declared the entire march an “illegal assembly” and ordered its “dispersal.” One thousand police then attacked 15,000 marchers, most of whom were white and middle class. The events marked a turning point in L.A. politics, forging an alliance between westside liberals and Black voters that culminated six years later in the election of L.A.’s first Black mayor, Tom Bradley. Photo credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.At the Century City anti-war protest, a small group sat-in outside the hotel where LBJ was speaking, violating the permit which required the marchers to keep moving. They expected to be arrested for civil disobedience. Photo credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.When LBJ announced in 1967 that he would open his reelection campaign with a gala fundraiser in Century City, 15,000 people joined an antiwar protest. Many marchers wore suits and ties and brought their children—while the LAPD brought 1,000 cops in riot gear. Photo credit: Los Angeles Herald-Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.Ron Karenga outside a courtroom in Los Angeles, May 29, 1971. Karenga, the head of US, was in the forefront of protest in 1967 in L.A., projecting a fierce image of Black Power militancy. The FBI’s COINTELPRO provoked conflict between US and the Panthers, and most of the left blamed Karenga for the 1969 murder of two LA Panthers on the UCLA campus—but it’s doubtful that he had foreknowledge of the killings. Photo by William S. Murphy. Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.Noah Purifoy at Watts Towers Arts Center, circa 1965. Purifoy, a sculptor, was part of the “Watts Renaissance” that included the free jazz of Horace Tapscott, plus dancers, writers, actors, filmmakers, and poets, whose creative energies had been unleashed by the rebellion. Courtesy Noah Purifoy Foundation © 2019, image provided by Richard Candida Smith.Stokely Carmichael defines “black power” at the University of California’s Greek Theater in Berkeley, October 29, 1966, jammed with 14,000 people. His next stop was L.A., where the county board of supervisors attempted to prevent his scheduled speech in Watts—but 6,500 people showed up to hear him say that militant unity was the sole guarantee of Black survival. AP photo.Watts, August 12, 1965. The “riot” metamorphosed from day to day, starting on the first night with groups of young people battling the police, then changing on the second and third nights into widespread community retaliation against the police and exploitative local businesses, then turning into neighborhood resistance to military occupation, followed by a vengeful reign of terror by the LAPD. AP photo.Sister Mary Corita in studio at Immaculate Heart College, circa 1964. L.A.’s most famous artist in the 1960s, her prints became increasingly political, which led L.A.’s famously right-wing cardinal, Francis McIntyre, to order her either to confine herself to traditional religious duties or to renounce her vows. She left the order in 1968, followed by most of the rest of the sisters at the college. Reprinted with permission of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.The Black Cat bar protest against police raids on gay bars, February 11, 1967, two years before Stonewall. Los Angeles also had the first gay magazine, The Advocate, and, in 1970, the first official gay pride parade. Photo Courtesy of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries. Photo: Courtesy of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.Watts Rebellion issue, LA Free Press, August 20, 1965. The nation’s first and most successful underground paper of the Sixties, the Freep published forty-eight pages every week at its peak in 1970 and boasted a “faithful readership” of a quarter of a million. The LA Times headlines for its Watts Uprising front page were “‘Get Whitey,’ Scream Blood-Hungry Mobs,” and an “expert” analysis, “Racial Unrest Laid to Negro Family Failure.” Photo: Courtesy of LAFreePress.com.Dorothy Healey, December 1, 1961. The unorthodox leader of the Communist Party in Los Angeles in the Fifties and Sixties, Dorothy was a key link between white and Black radicals—she mentored Angela Davis—and between the old and new lefts. She resigned from the Party in 1973 after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Photo credit: Los Angeles Herald Examiner photo collection, Los Angeles Public Library.Women Strike for Peace members marching at Old Plaza in Los Angeles, 1966, calling for an end to the Vietnam War. The previous year the group sent a delegation to meet in Jakarta with women of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front, which strengthened their standing to speak on war and peace, usually the preserve of men and “experts.” Photo credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive. Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.Demonstrators protesting the refusal of developer Don C. Wilson to sell homes in the Dominguez Hills tract in Gardena to African Americans. They were harassed by white residents as well as by the Glendale-based American Nazi Party, a frequent presence at demonstrations throughout the 1960s. Photo by Charles Williams, Courtesy of the Tom and Ethel Bradley Center, Delmar T. Oviatt Library, Special Collections and Archives, California State University, Northridge.In April 1962, after an altercation where a cop was shot, LAPD officers attacked the Black Muslim mosque, a block away, where unarmed members were leaving after evening prayers. The final tally: one Muslim man dead, seven others seriously wounded, fourteen arraigned on felonies, and the mosque ransacked. Malcolm, at the funeral, praised LA Black organizations for protesting the attack: “Our unity shocked them and we should continue to shock the white man by working together.” Photo credit: Gordon Parks, Malcolm X Holding up Black Muslim Newspaper, Chicago, Illinois, 1963. © The Gordon Parks Foundation.Members of CORE raise funds in Pacoima for jailed Freedom Riders, July 24, 1961. LA CORE sent five integrated groups of Freedom Riders to challenge segregation in southern train and bus terminals. Most of them were jailed at Mississippi’s ParchmanFarm, perhaps the scariest prison in North America. Photo Credit: Valley Times Photo Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.