Sights and Sounds of Black LA: Mapping Black History and Culture in Los Angeles (1850 - 2000)


The Sights and Sounds of Black LA: Mapping Black History and Culture in Los Angeles (1850-2000) provides access to hidden collections pertaining to black history and culture throughout Greater Los Angeles. The project is a collaboration between the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum (MCLM), the Ralph J. Bunch Center for African American Studies at UCLA (Bunche Center) and the California African American Museum (CAAM). MCLM has uncataloged photographs, newspapers (California Eagle 1903-1971), pamphlets, sheet music and letters chronicling the history and culture of Black LA from 1850-2000. The Bunche Center collection of roughly 300 audiocassette taped interviews, and events that document the tradition of African Americans who have visited and taught at UCLA (recording included playwright and poet Ntozake Shange). The Center also maintains the Dr. Darnell Hunt Research Archive, comprised of VHS tapes of news coverage of the 1994 O.J. Simpson trial and 1992 Los Angeles civil uprisings. CAAM's uncataloged materials span from 1976 - 2010 and include 1,650 slides of artists' works (e.g., Edmonia Lewis, Henry O. Tanner) and Black LA neighborhoods and artifacts, 100 audio and 80 videotapes, documenting Conversations at CAAM with leading civic leaders. 2,300 photographs of events occurring in Greater Los Angeles involving people of local, national and international renown (Black Olympians, Rosa Parks, Arthur Mitchell, Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Height and Sen. Barack Obama).


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



University of California


  • Judith Bowman

Collection Size

5350 objects

Date Range

1850 - 2000

Geographic Scope

The geographic scope includes the Greater Los Angeles region with emphasis on regional activities in Southern California and the Western States.