Academic Historian

Martin Schiesl is Professor Emeritus of History at California State University, Los Angeles. His specialities are the history of urban America in the twentieth century and the social, political, and governmental histories of Los Angeles and California since 1900. He is the author of The Politics of Efficiency: Municipal Administration and Reform in America, 1880-1920 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977), co-editor of 20th Century Los Angeles: Power, Promotion, and Social Conflict (Claremont, CA: Regina Books, 1990), editor of Responsible Liberalism: Edmund G. “Pat” Brown and Reform Government in California, 1958-1967 (Los Angeles: Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs, California State University, Los Angeles, 2003), and co-editor of City of Promise: Race and Historical Change in Los Angeles (Claremont, CA: Regina Books, 2006). He is also the author of “Residential Opportunity for All Californians: Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown and the Struggle for Fair Housing Legislation, 1959-1963,” Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs, Historical Essay, August, 2013, 1-6. Dr. Schiesl is currently writing a book on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in California in the years from 1940 to 1970.

John Wesley Mack (1937-2018)

Civic leader, civil rights advocate, and police commissioner John Wesley Mack was born on January 6, 1937 in Kingstree, South Carolina, to Abram Mack, a Methodist minister, and Ruth Wynita, a school teacher. Shortly after he was born, his family moved to Darlington, South Carolina. Mack attended North Carolina Agricultural and … Read MoreJohn Wesley Mack (1937-2018)

Gilbert William Lindsay (1900-1990)

Civil rights supporter, city official, and social activist Gilbert William Lindsay was born on a cotton plantation in Mississippi on November 29, 1900.  As a teenager, he left the state and enrolled in a school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lindsay later moved to Arizona where he served in the 10th Calvary and 25th Infantry of the United States Army. … Read MoreGilbert William Lindsay (1900-1990)

David Surmier Cunningham, Jr. (1935-2017)

Business executive, city official, and civil rights activist David Surmier Cunningham, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Reverend David S. Cunningham, Sr. and Eula Mae Lawson Cunningham on June 24, 1935. His family moved to Decatur, Illinois in 1943. Cunningham attended E.A. Gastman Elementary School and received musical instruction at Millikin University. … Read MoreDavid Surmier Cunningham, Jr. (1935-2017)

Roger Wood Wilkins (1932–2017)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Attorney, civil rights activist, journalist, and historian, Roger Wood Wilkins was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Earl and Helen Jackson Wilkins on March 25, 1932. His father was a business manager for the Kansas City Call newspaper, and his mother … Read MoreRoger Wood Wilkins (1932–2017)

Marnesba Tillmon Tackett (1908-2007)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Civil rights activist and education reformer Marnesba Tillmon Tackett was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Ivory and Elizabeth Edwards Adkins on February 4, 1908. She grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. After graduating from Sumner High School in 1926, she … Read MoreMarnesba Tillmon Tackett (1908-2007)