Southern California Library

Where Making History Is a Struggle


Uncovering Hidden Histories 

SCL Work Samples

The Southern California Library seeks to conduct a project that explores histories around the urban rebellion that took place in the South Los Angeles community of Watts in 1965. One of the primary components of the project is the gathering and sharing of oral histories of community members. For our work sample, we are providing two examples of oral history projects we have conducted, which demonstrate our long track record in executing this type of work.

South L.A. Youth Oral Histories (download)

NOTE: If the embedded radio clip does not play on your platform, please select the option to download the mp3 audio file to play locally instead.

In 2007–2008, the Library conducted approximately 30 oral histories with young people in our South Los Angeles neighborhood. This clip (mp3, approximately 5 minutes in duration) is a compilation of several of the youth oral histories and was broadcast on the local Pacifica public radio station, KPFK 90.7 FM.

Watts Rebellion Oral History Timed Notes

In 1990, the Library held a major retrospective on the 25th anniversary of the Watts Rebellion, including conducting approximately 15 oral histories with community members recalling their memories of the uprising. This document (PDF, 15 pages) contains notes, identified by time, of three of those oral histories.

Images from the Library's collections on South L.A./Watts histories