Most histories that have been written about black Los Angeles center on the community that developed after the Great Migration. After all, the amount of newer arrivals dwarfed the small numbers who had settled in the city before. These histories take advantage of a richer historical record than what remains of the earlier period of settlement, where migrants’ experiences were virtually unknown. But that does not mean they were non ex is tent. In fact, when one looks closely, one finds a small, thriving black community that worked closely with other racial and ethnic communities in order to maintain itself. This early black community, made up almost entirely of working-class people, together with a very small elite class, created black Los Angeles....
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