Kevin Leonard

Academic Historian

Kevin Allen Leonard is a professor and chair of the Department of History at Middle Tennessee State University. He joined the faculty at MTSU after 20 years on the faculty of Western Washington University. His book The Battle for Los Angeles: Racial Ideology and World War II was published in 2006 by the University of New Mexico Press. He is currently working on a book on African Americans and the environment in post-World War II Los Angeles.

H. Claude Hudson (1886-1989)

Image Ownership: Public Domain H. Claude Hudson was an important civil rights and business leader in two different cities: Shreveport, Louisiana, and Los Angeles.  Hudson was born in Louisiana in 1886. He studied at Wiley College, in Marshall, Texas, and earned a degree from the … Read MoreH. Claude Hudson (1886-1989)

E. Burton Ceruti (1875-1927)

Image Ownership: Public Domain E. Burton Ceruti was a prominent attorney and one of the founders of the Los Angeles branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Ceruti was born on August 14, 1875, in Nassau, the Bahamas. He moved to … Read MoreE. Burton Ceruti (1875-1927)

Paul R. Williams (1894-1980)

Paul R. Williams was one of the most well known 20th Century African American architects. Early in his career, Williams designed mostly houses, but in the 1950s and 1960s he designed some of the most distinctive public buildings in Los Angeles. Williams’s best-known building is … Read MorePaul R. Williams (1894-1980)

Lucy Hicks [Tobias Lawson] Anderson (1886-1954)

Lucy Hicks Anderson lived as a woman in Oxnard, California, from 1920 until 1945, when it was discovered that she was biologically male. Today she might be described as a transgender person, but that term did not exist during her lifetime. Although she did not … Read MoreLucy Hicks [Tobias Lawson] Anderson (1886-1954)

Floyd C. Covington (1901-1989)

Floyd C. Covington was a leader in Los Angeles’s black community for more than fifty years. A native of Denver, Colorado, Covington endured many traumatic experiences during his childhood. The 1910 manuscript census indicates that Covington’s father did not live with his family. Covington’s mother … Read MoreFloyd C. Covington (1901-1989)

Clayton D. Russell (1910-1981)

Clayton D. Russell was an important religious and political leader in the African American community in Los Angeles in the middle of the twentieth century. For much of his life Russell was associated with the People’s Independent Church of Christ, one of the largest congregations … Read MoreClayton D. Russell (1910-1981)

Chester Himes (1909-1984)

Chester Himes was an important writer of fiction and autobiography. Although Himes’s most widely read novels were detective stories set in Harlem, his first two published novels reflected his experiences in Los Angeles, where he lived from 1940 until 1944. A native of Missouri, Himes … Read MoreChester Himes (1909-1984)