Institute for Arts and Media

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African Americans at Work in Post - WWII Los Angeles

Western Union, Los Angeles CA 1965

Four sets of lessons ask challenging questions and provide teachers and students access to the Center's photographs — digitized with the assistance of a federal grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities — video and audio oral history interviews, maps, and interesting ideas for classroom activities.  

African Americans at Work in Post-WWII Los Angeles: To what extent were African Americans marginal workers needed in times of economic prosperity, and to what extent were they an integral part of the Los Angeles economy, laying the basis for social and political integration?

Teachers and students are provided with (a) historical background information on the employment conditions of African Americans in Los Angeles before, during, and after World War II; (b) a set of photographs with useful information on each time period; and (c) resources for further study.

A suggested lesson activity encourages students to investigate the employment and working conditions of their own parents, then compare those to that of the individuals portrayed in the photographs.


Click here to view the full lesson plan(.pdf)


Guide for Viewing and Analyzing Photographs The Big Questions Potential Contribution of Participants Classroom Assignments