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african american history month

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African-American classical composer, Julia Perry
Alan Westby, February 23, 2022

Julia Perry (1924-1979) was an American composer of African descent who had remarkable success in Europe and the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s. She made an international impression with her Stabat Mater, composed in 1951, and her Short Piece for Orchestra the following year.


Pictured: Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bich Ngoc Cao,City Librarian John Szabo, Meg DeLoatch

John Lewis was born in Troy, Alabama, the third oldest son of ten children. His father was a tenant farmer, while his mother earned extra money doing housework for other families.


Collage of albums by African Americans available on Freegal and hoopla
Daniel Tures, February 18, 2022

February is African American History Month, but every month is a good month to celebrate African American history and culture, and what better place to do so than your local library!


Norma Merrick Sklarek in front of the big blue whale
Vi Ha, February 15, 2022

In order to showcase the technology available in the Octavia Lab, celebrate the diversity of Los Angeles, and demonstrate how library resources, such as Tessa, the library's online digital archive, and historical newspaper databases, can be used towards social justice, Octavia Lab staff have been creating


Collage of classic and influential films by African-American directors
Alice S., February 11, 2022

For many years it was hard to find and watch many classic and influential films by African-American directors: they were not widely distributed, they were not released on home video, or they were thought to be lost.


bell hooks in 1988

bell hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) stands out as one of the nation’s pillars of both feminism and African American studies. It’s no exaggeration to say that every media outlet of note has highlighted her life and works upon her passing Wednesday, December 15.


Rolland J. Curtis in 1960
Maria Novoa, May 24, 2021

Rolland J. Curtis needs your help—well, ok. Maybe photographer Rolland J. Curtis does not need your help, but the library certainly does!

Let me set the scene for you:


Miriam Matthews, 1920
Kelly Wallace, March 05, 2021

As African American Heritage Month ends and Women’s Heritage Month begins, I’d like to draw attention to Miriam Matthews, the trailblazing librarian whose lifetime of achievements are worthy of celebration in any month.


Charlotta Bass, Security Pacific National Collection
Nicholas Beyelia, February 26, 2021

Charlotta Bass, a name well known in Los Angeles history circles, has surfaced recently on a national front thanks in part to the ascension of Senator Kamala Harris to the position of Vice President of the United States.


George Walker on his album George Walker: Great American Concert Music
Alan Westby, February 25, 2021

George Walker was one of America's most honored composers, having had his works performed by every major orchestra in the country, and was the first African-American composer to win a Pulitzer Prize for music.


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