Bridges Digital Archive: Audio and Video Recordings


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Oral History

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Lois Carson moved to San Bernardino in 1951 when she was transferred to Norton Air Force Base, where she worked on early computers. She discusses housing segregation in San Bernardino, and shares stories of activism to stop blockbusting in the Rialto bench in 1966. Lois Carson discusses her work in War on Poverty in San Bernardino, observations of the city’s active community action groups, as well as her leadership in the Riverside Community Action Agency where she helped set up the fair housing council, ran Upward Bound, energy programs and other programs to empower and serve poor people. She remembers the vibrant business district on Mount Vernon and discusses how the 215 freeway cut off resources and businesses, causing stores and people of color to relocate. She talks about parent organizing in Rialto to address racism in schools and by police, as well as their effort to create Black history class in the schools. She talks about how the Martin Luther King Jr. statue was built in the city. She ends the interview reflecting about the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of visiting Africa for African Americans.


Interview conducted by Jennifer Tilton and Romaine Washington.