Alison Rose Jefferson: Living The California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era

As Southern California was reimagining leisure and positioning it at the center of the American Dream, African American Californians were working to make that leisure an open, inclusive reality. By occupying recreational sites and public spaces, African Americans challenged racial hierarchies and marked a space of black identity on the regional landscape and social space.


Mar5
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
2020-03-05 17:30:00 2020-03-05 19:00:00 Alison Rose Jefferson: Living The California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era

In Living the California Dream Alison Rose Jefferson examines how African Americans pioneered America’s “frontier of leisure” by creating communities and business projects in conjunction with their growing population in Southern California during the nation’s Jim Crow era. By presenting stories of Southern California African American oceanfront and inland leisure destinations that flourished from 1910 to the 1960s, Jefferson illustrates how these places helped create leisure production, purposes, and societal encounters. Black communal practices and economic development around leisure helped define the practice and meaning of leisure for the region and the nation, confronted the emergent power politics of recreational space, and set the stage for the sites as places for remembrance of invention and public contest. Living the California Dream presents the overlooked local stories that are foundational to the national narrative of mass movement to open recreational accommodations to all Americans and to the long freedom rights struggle.

Alison Rose Jefferson is an independent historian and heritage conservation consultant. She is currently working on public history projects, including the research and narrative production for the Central Avenue heritage trail with Angels Walk L.A. Previously she was a historian at Historic Resources Group in Southern California and has worked as a consultant with the Center for Oral History Research at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Morrison Lounge in Johnson Student Center
America/Los_Angeles public
Location:
Morrison Lounge in Johnson Student Center
Event Date: Thursday, March 5, 2020

In Living the California Dream Alison Rose Jefferson examines how African Americans pioneered America’s “frontier of leisure” by creating communities and business projects in conjunction with their growing population in Southern California during the nation’s Jim Crow era. By presenting stories of Southern California African American oceanfront and inland leisure destinations that flourished from 1910 to the 1960s, Jefferson illustrates how these places helped create leisure production, purposes, and societal encounters. Black communal practices and economic development around leisure helped define the practice and meaning of leisure for the region and the nation, confronted the emergent power politics of recreational space, and set the stage for the sites as places for remembrance of invention and public contest. Living the California Dream presents the overlooked local stories that are foundational to the national narrative of mass movement to open recreational accommodations to all Americans and to the long freedom rights struggle.

Alison Rose Jefferson is an independent historian and heritage conservation consultant. She is currently working on public history projects, including the research and narrative production for the Central Avenue heritage trail with Angels Walk L.A. Previously she was a historian at Historic Resources Group in Southern California and has worked as a consultant with the Center for Oral History Research at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Tags: Academic
Alison Rose Jefferson