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L.A. Watts Times newspapers and ephemera
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: L.A. Watts Times newspapers and ephemera
    Collection number: 2122
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 13.8 linear ft. (33 flat boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1987-2010
    Abstract: The Watts Times was founded in 1965 following the Watts Riots. In 1976, Charles Cook purchased the publication and changed the name to L.A. Watts Times. The collection consists of original L.A. Watts Times newspapers, a small amount of awards, and a very small amount of ephemera.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: L.A.Watts Times.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], L.A. Watts Times Newspapers and Ephemera (Collection 2122). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Danny Bakewell, Chairman of Bakewell Media, 2012.


    The Watts Times was founded in 1965 following the Watts Riots and eventually became the premiere African American publication in Los Angeles. In 1976, the newspaper was purchased by Charles Cook, an African American activist and former leader of the Congress of Racial Equality. As an effort to include news about Los Angeles’ entire African American community, Cook changed the publication’s name to L.A. Watts Times. Cook was credited for transforming the L.A. Watts Times from being a tabloid circulated in Watts to becoming a financially stable weekly publication distributed in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Carson, Compton, Inglewood, Gardena, Santa Monica and West Hollywood.
    After Charles Cook’s death in 1998, his daughter Melanie Polk became publisher of L.A. Watts Times. In June 2010, Polk sold the publication to Danny Bakewell, publisher of Los Angeles Sentinel and owner of Bakewell Media

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of issues of original L.A. Watts Times newspapers along with a small amount of awards and ephemera. The bulk of the newspapers are loose publications; a small portion are hard bound together by year. Many of the awards, honors, and commendations are from the California State Government and City of Los Angeles and they acknowledge the L.A. Watts Times as well as publishers Charles and Beverly Cook and Melanie Polk.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is not arranged.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7397589 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    African Americans--California--Los Angeles--Newspapers
    Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.)--Newspapers.