Alison Rose Jefferson

Independent Historian
Photo by Leroy Hamilton

Alison Rose Jefferson earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Heritage Conservation from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Arts from Pomona College.

Her book titled Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era (University of Nebraska Press, 2020) rethinks the significance of the struggle for leisure and public space for all within the long freedom rights struggle and civil rights movement. Her work has garnered attention in KCET-LA programming, the Los Angeles Times, and other media outlets.

Much of Jefferson’s work is public-facing. She is currently working on public history projects revolving around the African American experience during the Jim Crow era, including the research and narrative production for Santa Monica’s Belmar History + Art Project, and stanchions and guidebook texts for the Central Avenue heritage trail with Angels Walk L.A. She was a co-curator on the Intersections of South Central Los Angeles: People and Places in Historic and Contemporary Photographs exhibit and co-writer of its catalog (California African American Museum, 2006). Jefferson also was a featured historian in the White Wash (2011) documentary movie.

A native of Los Angeles, California, her professional interests revolve around American and California history, the experiences of African descent people, public history, spatial justice, heritage conservation, and cultural tourism.

The Inkwell, Martha’s Vineyard (1890s- )

Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, part of Massachusetts’ Cape Cod Islands, is one of several historic African American summer resort communities along the Atlantic seaboard founded in the 1890s. The” Inkwell” or Town Beach in Oak Bluffs is the name of the popular beach frequented … Read MoreThe Inkwell, Martha’s Vineyard (1890s- )

The Inkwell, Santa Monica, California (1905-1964)

The Inkwell was a popular beach for African Americans in Southern California through the middle decades of the Twentieth Century.  The beach at Bay Street fanning out a block to the north and south was derogatorily called “The Inkwell” by nearby Anglos in reference to … Read MoreThe Inkwell, Santa Monica, California (1905-1964)