Oral Histories

The Institute for Arts and Media contains over four dozen oral histories from African American photographers, Civil Rights leaders and organizers, individuals involved with the history of Los Angeles, Journalism, Mexicans in Exile, and the United Farmworkers. Audio and video comprise the collection along with the personal papers of many individuals and organizations.

 For access to transcripts, audio, and other materials please contact the Institute.
 

Projects:

Border Studies (click here to go to projects)
Journalism Oral History
The United Farmworkers (UFW) Oral History
Of Images and History
Restrictive Covenant Oral History
Black Gallery
Black Photographers Roundtable

 

Journalism Oral History

Carleton, Herb (1927-1992)
Interviewer: C. Bennett
Date: 1991
Status: Transcribed, eng
Photographer Herb Carleton worked for the Los Angeles Daily News and The Hollywood Citizen News. Carleton photographed many sports and entertainment events, and was the official photographer of Shipstad and Johnson Ice Capades.

 

Cleaver, James
Interviewer: K. Kirkton
Date: 1991
Status: Transcribed, eng

 

Olender, Ben
Interviewer: B. Harvey
Date: 1991
Status: Transcribed, eng
Ben Oleander,  former Times photographer.

 

Harvey, Bill (1916- )
Interviewer: K. Kirkton; C. Otto
Date: 1991; 1992
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Bill Harvey (a.k.a. William Harvey) began his career in Los Angeles in 1942 as a publicity and commercial news photographer. He photographed for many clients– from the Academy Awards to the Republican National Convention.

 

Pye Jr., Brad (1931- )
Interviewer: K. Kirkton
Date: 1991
Status: Transcribed, eng
Pye began to work for L.A. County in 1987 as assistant chief deputy to then-County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.  He worked under another county supervisor, Yvonne Braithwaite Burke; was the first black to be appointed to the L.A. City Parks and Recreation Commission in 1968; and worked as a division chief for the Department of Children and Family Services beginning in 1993. Pye served as sports editor for the L.A. Sentinel for 30 years and currently writes a sports column in the L.A. Watts Times and Inland Valley News newspapers.

 

Robinson, Edward “Abe” (1915-2001)
Interviewer: K. Kirkton
Date: 1991
Status: Not transcribed
Robinson is a former reporter for the Los Angeles Sentinel and the California Eagle.

 

Rodriquez, Roberto (1954- )
Interviewer: M. Witten
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Although not a member of the UFW, Rodriquez participated in strikes. His primary contribution to the UFW has been as a journalist.

 

Smith, David
Interviewer: V. Squibb
Date: 1982
Status: Transcription only, eng

 

Watson, Coy (1912-2009)
Interviewer: K. Kirkton & R. Marshall
Date: 1991
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Coy Watson (a.k.a James Caughey Watson Jr.) was a child actor and later became a Los Angeles based news photographer for CBS and cameraman. Watson served in the US Coast Guard during World War II as a Boatswains Mate and Chief Photographer.

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Clip 1: Watson describes when he photographed the gangster Mickey Cohen. The congenial Cohen was arrested one evening and released within a few minutes.

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Clip 2: Watson discusses the attitude of Bing Crosby and his relationship with the press. The photographers boycotted taking Crosby’s pictures after an event he refused to pose for. After discussing the situation with the studio, Crosby’s attitude toward the press changed.

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Clip 3: The morning after Pearl Harbor Watson was assigned to a group of secret service men in Palos Verdes, CA. Watson photograph the layout of a shack believed to be used by Japanese Americans during the war. He captured images of Japanese Americans loading trains and reminisces on his own experiences.

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Clip 4: Everyone has a story to tell. Watson discusses why one individual would want to end his life.

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Clip 5: Watson continues his story about the man who tried to end his life. He recalls the conversation he had with the individual and shares the man’s story of how he attempted to end his life.

 

Yaro, Boris
Interviewer:
Date: 1991
Status: Not transcribed

 

Yehuda, Lev
Interviewer:
Date: 1991
Status: Not transcribed

 

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The United Farmworkers (UFW) Oral History

Adair, Doug (1942- )
Interviewer: G. Truex & C. Guerrero
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Adair joined the UFW the day before the 1965 Delano grape strike began. He was a striker, a picketer, an aide in the legal office and an editor of the newspaper, El Malcriado.

 

Burciaga, David (1923-2011)
Interviewer: J. Garcia & K. Kirkton
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Burciaga worked with farm worker movement leaders, including Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Gilbert Padilla, beginning in the 1950s. For many years he served as the UFW’s chief negotiator, working with farm workers and bargaining with growers to hammer out important union contracts.

 

Cadena, Amelia
Interviewer:
Date: 2002
Status: Transcription only, eng

 

Chandler, Bill (1941- )
Interviewer: R. Marshall
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Summer agricultural jobs led Chandler to membership in the United Fruit Workers, working with founders, Dolores Huerta, Gilbert Padilla, and Cesar Chavez.

 

Chavez, Richard (1929-2011)
Interviewer: J. Garcia
Date: 2002
Status: Transcription only, eng
Richard Chavez worked with his brother, César Chávez, to organize farm workers in the early 1960s. Chavez served as a board member of the UFW and was first director of the National Farm Workers Service Center in 1966.

 

Cruz, Jesse de la (1919- )
Interviewer: J. Garcia & K. Kirkton
Date: 1996
Status: Transcription only, eng
Jessie de la Cruz (a.k.a. Jesse Lopez) was a striker and the union’s first woman organizer. After working in humiliating conditions for over 30 years, she took a stand in 1964 after hearing Cesar Chavez speak.

 

Espinoza, Pablo
Interviewer: J. Garcia & K. Kirkton
Date: 1995
Status: Transcribed, eng

 

Hartmire, Chris (1932- )
Interviewer: K. Kirkton
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Reverend Chris Hartmire (a.k.a. Wayne C. Hartmire) worked as a youth minister in East Harlem after seminary, at the Church of the Resurrection. In 1961 he succeeded Doug Still as Director of California Migrant Ministry.  The Migrant Ministry provided support to Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers.

 

Herrera, Angie and Carmen Hernandez
Interviewer: J. Marti
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Sisters Angie Herrera and Carmen Hernandez are members of the UFW.

 

Hernandez, Carmen (1949- )
Interviewer: J. Marti
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Carmen Hernandez was a picketer and secretary for the United Farm Workers.

 

Hernandez, Helen
Interviewer: C. Cuevas
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Helen (Serda) Hernandez is an ex-farmworker and activist with the UFW. Hernandez joined the strikers, even picketing the fields that her parent’s worked in when they crossed the picket lines. Her is father, Joe Serda.

 

Hernandez, Julio
Interviewer: J. Garcia
Date: 1995
Status: Not transcribed, spa

 

Jones, Nick (1942- )
Interviewer: J. Garcia & K. Kirkton
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
In 1966 Jones joined the National Farm Workers Association.  Jones rose to the position of National Boycott Director, but resigned when accuse by Cesar Chavez of being a communist and leading a kind of a left movement of some sorts within the union to take control of it.

 

Montoya, Daneen
Interviewer: J. Marti
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Montoya was a boycotter for the United Farm Workers in San Jose, California.  She worked on the presidential campaigns of John and Robert Kennedy. Following their assassinations she became active in the farm workers union.

 

Gilbert Padilla (1927- )
Interviewer: D. Adair
Date: 1995, 1996
Status: Transcription only, eng
Along with Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta, Padilla was a founding member of the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) in 1962. He was Secretary-Treasurer for the United Farm Worker. Padilla remained with the UFW until he was forced to resign in 1980.

 

Ramos Chandler, Irene
Interviewer: J. Marti
Date: 1995
Status: Transcription only, eng
Ramos Chandler and her husband committed to being organizers when he became curious about the Juertes Union.

 

Saludado, Antonia
Interviewer: K. Kirkton
Date: 1995
Status: Transcribed, eng

 

Saludado de Magana, Maria
Interviewer: M. Witten
Date: 2002
Status: Transcripton only, eng

 

Serda, Joe (1928- )
Interviewer: C. Cuevas
Date: 1995
Status: Transcribed, eng
Serda started working in the fields at the age of ten. Serda continued to work during the 1965 Delano strike, but under cover he was working with the Union organizing members of his crew.

 

Sosa, Danilo
Interviewer:
Date: 1991
Status: Not transcribed, spa

 

Valdez, Luis (1940- )
Interviewer: K. Kirkton
Date: 1999
Status: Transcription only, eng
Valdez is acknowledged as the founder of modern Chicano theater and film. He joined the United Farm Workers and formed El Teatro Campesino that staged improvisation theater.

 

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Of Images and History

Charles, Roland (1938-2000)
Interviewer: J. Rose
Date: 1999
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Roland Charles was the founder and executive director of the Black Photographers of California and the Black Gallery.

 

Cropper, Don (1932-1999)
Interviewer: J. Rose
Date: 1999
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Cropper was a Los Angeles-based photographer whose work appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Sentinel, Ebony magazine, Variety, DownBeat and Billboard music magazines. His subjects included Muhammad Ali, Cesar Chavez, Miles Davis, John F. Kennedy and Andrew Young.

 

Davis, Jack (1920-2004)
Interviewer: J. Rose
Date: 1995, 1999
Status: Not transcribed, eng
In both his freelance work and work for the Herald Dispatch, Jack Davis chronicled the African-American community. Davis opened the Modern Arts Photography Studio in Los Angeles in the 1950’s and taught photography at the high school and community college levels.  He was active in the community, working to promote photography and take what he called “people pictures.”

 

Douglas, Bob (1921-2002)
Interviewer: J. Rose
Date: 1999
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Douglas began his career in the early 1940’s as nightclub photographer in Detroit, Michigan. Douglas worked for many newspapers and magazines such as the California Eagle, the Los Angeles Sentinel and for Ebony and Sepia magazines as well as doing free-lance work.

 

Moorehead, Howard (1927-2003)
Interviewer: J. Rose
Date: 1999
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Howard Moorehead served as a Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. He worked as a news photographer for the Los Angeles Sentinel in the 1950s, and in 1958 became the first West Coast staff photographer for Johnson Publications.

 

Williams, Robert W. (1922-1997)
Interviewer: R. Williams
Date: 1996
Status: Transcription only, eng
Williams served in World War II as a Tuskegee Airman. After the war he began a successful career as a sales executive.

 

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Restrictive Covenant Oral History

Fears, Pauletta
Interviewer:
Date: 1992
Status: Not transcribed, eng

 

McTernan, John
Interviewer:
Date: 1993
Status: Not transcribed, eng

 

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Black Gallery

Adams, Harry (1918-1985)
Interviewer: R. Charles
Date: 1983
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Adams worked as a freelancer for the California Eagle and Los Angeles Sentinel for 35 years. He became known for his images of politicians, entertainers, and society figures in Los Angeles.

 

Charles, Roland (1938-2000)
Interviewer: R. Charles
Date: 1983
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Roland Charles was the founder and executive director of the Black Photographers of California and the Black Gallery.

 

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Black Photographers Roundtable

Bingham, Howard (1939- )
Interviewer: R. Charles
Date: 2000
Status: Not transcribed, eng
Bingham became one of the most accomplished African American photographers in the industry. It was while working for the Sentinel that Bingham was assigned to cover Muhammad Ali. Bingham has traveled the world documenting Ali’s life as well as some of histories most memorable events.

 

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