Academic, Historical and Other Professional Writing
Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era University of Nebraska Press, January 2020. The book cover art is by artist Derrick Adams from his 2016 “Culture Club” series.
- Winner of the Los Angeles City Historical Society’s Miriam Matthews Ethnic History Award for exceptional contributions to the greater understanding and awareness of Los Angeles history (March 8, 2020).
- See media on the book and other articles I made a contribution to here.
- Download and share a book flyer with your network here.
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- Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, The Journal of African American History, Summer 2022: 472-474.
- Kim Nalley, California History, Summer 2022: 97-99.
- Reynolds J. Scott-Childress, Journal of American History, March 2022: 847-848.
- Andrew Kahrl, Southern California Quarterly, Fall 2021: 349-351.
- Azariah M. Reese, Journal of Geography, Vol. 121 (2), 2021: 87.
- Jean K. Hope, The Western History Quarterly, Summer 2021: 223-24.
- Melissa A. Esmacher, The Public Historian, May 2021: 172-74.
- Joy Miller, The Journal of San Diego History, Spring 2021: 84-85.
- Elsa Nefertari Ulen, “Reclaiming Black Beaches: On Alison Rose Jefferson’s Living the California Dream,” Los Angeles Review of Books, December 15, 2020.
- “Book it L.A., For the brainy and the bold” by Drew Tewksbury, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11, 2020.
- “Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars,” The Journal of Black in Higher Education, Jan. 9, 2020.
More Articles and Publications
- “Reclaiming My Black Joy in Nature” in Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors, ed. Rue Mapp. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2022, 58-61.
- “The true damage in a racist land grab”
Los Angeles Times, OpEd, April 5, 2021.
- Book Review: Black Americans and the Civil Rights Movement in the West. Bruce A. Glasrud and D. Wintz with forward by Quintard Taylor (University of Oklahoma Press, 2019)
Journal of American Historians, Vol. 107, No. 2 (September 2020): 545.
- “Opinion: Secretary Deb Haaland is sure to enrage everyone. She should embrace it.”
The Denver Post, March 25, 2021 | Updated March 26, 2021.
- “Reconstruction and Reclamation: The Erased African American Experience in Santa Monica’s History”
Belmar History + Art Project, 2020.
- “Leisure, An Essential Component of Liberty”
UNP Blog online publication, January 13, 2020.
- “The Transcontinental Railroad, African Americans and the California Dream”
California Historical Society Online Blog publication, June 17, 2019. This article was also reposted at History News Network.
- Blacks in California series for Black History Month
Wave Newspapers, February 2019
– “…1850–1910: Early Black Settlers Sought Freedom, Opportunity,” February 7, 2019.
– “…1900–1940: Brave Activists Accelerate Fight For Social Justice,” February 14, 2019.
– “…1930–1970: Local Librarian Helped Chronicle L.A.’s Black History,” February 21, 2019.
– “…1930–1990: ‘Emperor of the Great 9th Stood Tall Among Giants,” February 28, 2019.
- “Pioneering Black Urbanites in San Francisco and Los Angeles”
California Historical Society Online Blog publication, February 4, 2019.
- Opinion: “Don’t ignore local battles for civil rights”
Los Angeles Times, Letter to the editor and readers’ opinions section, Thursday, June 30, 2016.
- Leisure’s Race, Power and Place: The Recreation and Remembrance of African Americans in the California Dream
Doctor of Philosophy in History Dissertation (2015), University of California, Santa Barbara.
- Walking Tour Review: Ricki Stevenson’s Black Paris Tours, July 4, 2015, Paris, France
The Public Historian, Vol. 37, No. 11 (Fall 2015): 154-158.
- Remembering Santa Monica’s Black Beach
When surf and sand was practically segregated, the Inkwell was both a slur and a badge of pride for African Americans
The Argonaut News, in This Week section, Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
- Nick Gabaldón (1927-1951):
A Southern California Surfing Pioneer
The UltimateHistoryProject.com promotes high-quality, cutting-edge historical scholarship intended for everyone.
- Challenges to the Conservation of California’s African American Heritage
This story is a web companion to the Spring 2014 issue of the Forum Journal: Imagining a More Inclusive Preservation Program.
- Race, Real Estate and Remembrance in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park Neighborhood
Los Angeles City Historical Society Newsletter, Volume XLVI, Issue 3, November 2013: 16–17.
- Nick Gabaldón, A SoCal Surfing Pioneer
Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival 2013 Event Guide, Saturday, June 8, 2013: 5.
- Reclamation of History for Community Engagement and Social Action, Now and in the Future
Commentary on Heal the Bay’s, Around the Bay Blog – “Reclaiming L.A.’s Beaches as Communities of Color,” May 2013.
- Review: Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum and Milwaukee’s Bronzeville Cultural Entertainment District
The Public Historian, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Fall 2012): 93-98.
- Encyclopedia Entries for BlackPast.org
“The Inkwell, Santa Monica, California (1905–1964),” “Nick Gabaldon (1924–1951)” with Rick Blocker, and “The Inkwell, Martha’s Vineyard (1890s–).” BlackPast.org is a web portal reference center providing information to the general public on the history of African Americans and their worldwide ancestry.
- African American Leisure Space in Santa Monica: The Beach Sometimes Known as the “Inkwell,” 1900s–1960s
Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 91, No. 2 (2009): 155–189. A section of the Ocean Park beach in Santa Monica, California, served as an African American leisure space during the era of segregation. This article identifies the discrimination that African Americans endured, but also celebrates both the local black community formation and the sociable relaxation that Los Angeles African Americans enjoyed at this site.
- African Americans and the Beach in Santa Monica at the Bay Street Site Controversially Sometimes Called as the ‘Inkwell’ – Two Page Handout
Santa Monica Conservancy, Revised.
- Lake Elsinore: A Southern California African American Resort Area During the Jim Crow Era, 1920s–1960s, and the Challenges of Historic Preservation
Master of Historic Preservation Thesis (2007), University of Southern California.
As soon as African Americans could afford leisure experiences after the end of American slavery, they joined Euro-Americans at resorts and in travel to other places domestically and overseas. Being able to take a vacation or an overnight trip for pleasure became a critical marker and entitlement of middle class status. This thesis examines the Lake Elsinore resort in Riverside County, California, and the involvement of African American actors in the area’s history and development during the period of legal segregation in the 20th century — an issue overlooked in the past. The cultural landscape of this African American resort community presents challenges and opportunities under current preservation policy for commemoration, because significant built artifacts are not extant in this heritage area. When physical traces are lost, how do we memorialize in the collective history a more expansive view of the citizenry, when historic preservation efforts in the United States emphasize tangible aspects of culture?
- Intersections of South Central Los Angeles: People and Places in Historic and Contemporary Photographs
with Christopher D. Jimenez y West, Matthew W. Roth, and Morgan P. Yates.
Los Angeles: Automobile Club of Southern California, 2006. Available for purchase through the California African American Museum at Exposition Park, Los Angeles.