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Where Do We Go from Here? Histories of Long-Term Black Business Ownership, Community, and Family in Los Angeles County
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Interview of John Beals 2017

Interview with John Beals

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Beals, John

Processing Information

For the Beals interview, the interviewer looked at Quincy T. Mills' Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barber Shops in America, as well as a number of articles and news reports on Vivid Reflections.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Biographical / Historical

Owner of Vivid Reflections Barber Shop.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Vivid Reflections Barber Shop in Los Angeles, California.
SESSION 1 (10/17/2017) Birth and family background—Growing up in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement—Joining the military during Vietnam—Activism and marches—Freedom House—Resistance and retaliation—Education—Community in Canton, Mississippi—Black and white barbershops—First Black police officer in Jackson, Mississippi—Joining the army and basic training—Moves to California.
SESSION 2 (10/31/2017) Changes in Mississippi—Activism and danger—The killing of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) members Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner in Mississippi—Interracial dating within activist circles—Owning a car wash—Attending barber school—Being mentored—Closing the car wash and running the barbershop—A day at the barbershop—A sense of community at the barbershop—Changing hair styles—Biggest expense—The importance of investing and of patience in building wealth—Taking a personal oath—Black barbershops' role in the community—Debt—Artifacts in the barbershop—Technology—Advice to younger self.
 

Interview of Jeanette Bolden-Pickens 2018

Interview with Jeanette Bolden-Pickens

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Bolden-Pickens, Jeanette

Biographical / Historical

Co-owner of the 27th Street Bakery in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

For the Bolden-Pickens interview, the interviewer reviewed articles on the business in local publications such as the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Weekly, and the Los Angeles Sentinel, as well as food publications.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: 27th Street Bakery in Los Angeles, California.
SESSION 1 (2/8/2018) Birth and family background—Growing up in Compton—Home life—Religion in the family—Education—Diagnosed with severe asthma—Boarding at Sunair Home for Asthmatic Children in Tujunga, California—First experience with racism—High school years and running track—Competing in the 1984 Olympics—History of 27th Street Bakery—A family business—Mother takes over the business—Growing up in the business—Mother's passing—Bolden Pickens takes over the business with her sister—Family recipe—Early challenges.
SESSION 2 (2/9/2018) Grooming for succession in the family—Becoming owner of the bakery—Expenses of the bakery—Protecting the family secret recipe—Competition—Menu changes—Community relations—Expansion—Technology—Policy changes—L.A. Riots—Importance of Black-owned businesses.
 

Interview of Vivian Bowers 2017

Interview with Vivian Bowers

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Bowers, Vivian

Biographical / Historical

Second-generation owner of Bowers and Sons Cleaners, located in the historic Central Avenue district in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

For the Bowers/Cowan interview, the interviewer looked at articles in local publications on the Bowers and the history of their dry cleaning business, as well as articles on the Black business community in Los Angeles. She also researched the history of Central Avenue in publications such as The Great Black Way: L.A. in the 1940s and the Last African American Renaissance by R. J. Smith, which recounts Central Avenue's heyday. Finally, as the dry cleaning business was affected by changes in environmental policies intended to make them more "eco-friendly," she looked at UCLA School of Public Affairs Professor Paul Ong's "Environmental Justice/Injustice and SCAQMD's Dry-Cleaners" and an article on compliance for dry cleaners put out by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Vivian Bowers' home in Inglewood, California.
SESSION 1 (7/25/2017) Birth and family background--Migration to Los Angeles--Early childhood in Compton and Florida--Living in the Westlake district (now Echo Park)--Family moves to Los Feliz--Parents' invest in real estate--Father gets into the dry cleaning business--Moves to West Los Angeles--Home life--Changing religious beliefs in the family--Family trips to Florida--Racial incident in Florida--Family's relationship to politics--Watts Riots--High school--Early career in retail--Becoming an entrepreneur—L.A. Riots--Decline of Central Avenue--Customer service.
SESSION 2 (7/27/2017) Making the choice to become owner of Bowers and Sons Cleaners--Not prepared for the "back end" of the business--The role of women in the business--Learning on the job--The dry cleaning process--Impact of public policy and environmental issues on the dry cleaning business--Purchasing equipment--Staffing a labor-intensive job--Involvement in the community as a business strategy--The revitalization of historic Central Avenue--Development and affordable housing on Central Avenue--Investing in the community--Gentrification--Attending a business program at University of Southern California (USC)--Promoting the business and attracting new customers--Financial advice from her father--Expansion into real estate--The impact of the increase in minimum wage.
 

Interview of Jeanette Brown 2018

Interview with Jeanette Brown

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Brown, Jeanette

Biographical / Historical

Owner of J'nette Quality Cleaners.

Processing Information

For the Brown interview, the interviewer also read articles about J'Nette Quality Cleaners in local newspapers. And as the dry cleaning business was affected by changes in environmental policies intended to make them more "eco-friendly," she looked at UCLA School of Public Affairs Professor Paul Ong's "Environmental Justice/Injustice and SCAQMD's Dry-Cleaners" and an article on compliance for dry cleaners put out by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview Place: Jeanette Brown's home in Gardena, California.
SESSION 1 (1/23/2018) Birth and family background—Parents' migration to Pasadena, California—Early childhood in Pasadena—Childhood neighborhood—Parents divorce--Move to Altadena—Father passes away—Becomes a mother—Growing up in Altadena—Learning how to press—Family religion—Going back to school and getting her high school diploma—Getting her real estate license—Early jobs—Working at McDonnell Douglas Helicopters—Buying her first dry cleaning business—Becoming an entrepreneur. SESSION 2 (2/8/2018) Advice from friends and family—African Americans and the dry cleaning business—Moving to Gardena—Demographics of Gardena—Shifting clientele from previous owners to Brown—Naming the cleaners—Certificates, permits, and licenses—State policy and perchloroethylene—Training and education—Problem solving in the dry cleaning business—Growing the business—Start-up funds—Business expenses and maintaining staff—Contract with Tuxedo Plus—Pricing changes.
SESSION 3 (2/8/2018) Biggest expense of a dry cleaning business—Walking through a day in the dry cleaning business—Biggest challenges in owning a business—Employee theft—Impact of the economic downturn of 2008—Landlord—Expansion—Succession—Customer demographics of Brown's business—The impact of changing technology—Most difficult decisions—Advice to her younger self.
 

Interview of Sharon Coleman 2017

Interview with Sharon Coleman

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Coleman, Sharon

Biographical / Historical

Owner of Coleman Construction in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

In addition, for the Coleman interview, the interviewer read articles on South Los Angeles and development; trade publications, such as research presented at the Associated Schools of Construction conference; and a number of newspaper and journal articles tracking women and minorities in the construction business and initiatives to recruit a more diverse work force, including a National Women's Law Center report on women in construction.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview Place: Sharon Coleman's office at Coleman Construction.
SESSION 1 (7/27/2017) Birth and early childhood in Brooklyn, New York—Family background—Moves to Los Angeles—Growing up in South Los Angeles—Attending Los Angeles Southwest College—First job in construction—Meeting her husband--Getting life-changing advice—Employment path—Starting Coleman Construction—Attends the Business Entrepreneurial Network Program at the University of Southern California—Early days in business—Being a woman in the construction business—Discrimination in construction—Demographic changes in construction—A government contract—Economic downturn—Proposition 209 (1996) prohibits considering race in public employment, contracting, and education—Criteria for "disadvantaged business" identification.
SESSION 2 (10/24/2017) A typical day in the construction business—Competition in bidding—Projects—Unions and the construction business—Labor issues—Declining numbers of African Americans in the business—Impact of gentrification—Policy and workers' compensation—The National Association of Minority Contractors—Succession and grooming her children—Advice to young entrepreneurs.
 

Interview of Todd Davenport 2017

Interview with Todd Davenport

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Davenport, Todd

Biographical / Historical

Third-generation owner of Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

For the Davenport interview, the interviewer reviewed articles on the Lamar Hill family in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Sentinel, and other periodicals and also an oral history of John Lamar Hill conducted by the UCLA Center for Oral History Research. She also consulted a number of articles on black funerals and funeral homes, including "The Colored Embalmer: Homegoings, Capitalism, and African American Civil Rights" by Paul Harvey and "The Disappearance of a Distinctively Black Way to Mourn" by Tiffany Stanley, published in the Atlantic.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview Place: Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles.
SESSION 1 (5/18/17) Place of birth--Family background--Mother's death--Living with grandfather--Family trips--Growing up in L.A.'s Country Club neighborhood--Grandfather John Lamar Hill starts radio station KJLH--Education--Family's involvement in politics--Grandfather develops Alzheimer's--First job in the family business--Working at Angelus Funeral Home during the "golden years"--Early adult years, becoming a father—Succession in the business.
SESSION 2 (6/9/17) Angelus move to Crenshaw Boulevard--Attending Los Angeles High School--Career in sports--Grandfather's passing--Twenty years of probate--Becoming owner of Angelus--A family business--Angelus now and then--Changing neighborhood demographics--Expanding to include other cultural traditions--The impact of cremation on the funeral business—L.A. Riots--Economic downturn of 2007--Angelus philanthropic activities.
SESSION 3 (6/16/17) Transition from probate to owner--Changes in the funeral business--Impact of the growth of the corporate funeral business.
SESSION 4 (6/16/17) The state of Black-owned businesses in the area--Angelus' staying power--Grooming a new generation--Advice to future funeral business entrepreneurs--The future of Angelus.
 

Interview of Carl Dickerson 2017

Interview with Carl Dickerson

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Dickerson, Carl

Biographical / Historical

Owner of Dickerson Employee Benefits.

Processing Information

For the Dickerson interview, the interviewer also read a number of articles about Dickerson and his company in local, national, and trade publications, including the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Los Angeles Times, Black Enterprise and the Los Angeles Business Journal.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview Place: Carl Dickerson's office.
SESSION 1 (8/8/2017) Birth—Family home—Father's background—Young Christians of Allegheny County—Earning money—Working for a local shop owner who was a Jewish émigré —Mother's background—Philanthropic activities—Childhood home—Religion—Discovering Uncle Bill's sexual orientation—The world of gambling.
SESSION 2 (8/29/2017) Childhood jobs—Saving money—Shoe shine business—Selling newspapers—-Owned businesses in Duquesne, Pennsylvania—Real estate—More on working for the Jewish émigré shop owner and learning about the Holocaust from him.
SESSION 3 (9/12/2017) Father's involvement in the Steel Workers Union—Union activity—Attending college—Post-graduation jobs—Road trip to Alaska—Denied a hotel room in Des Moines, Iowa—Racism in Las Vegas—Living in Berkeley, California—Working in academia—Moving to Los Angeles—Getting a job in the insurance business—Managing the band Shango and the entertainment business—Starting his insurance business in 1972.
SESSION 4 (9/26/2017) A brief stint in the dry-cleaning business—Marries in 1964—Interracial unions—Insurance business and honing selling techniques—Shifting to health insurance—Purchasing property in Echo Park and starting a business—Working with ethnic markets—Staffing—Expansion—Meets the consul general of China—L.A Riots.
SESSION 5 (10/10/2017) Expense in the insurance business—Insurance as a financial tool—Building relationships is key—International projects—The Affordable Care Act—Policy changes and the history of health insurance—Workers' compensation—Technology—Succession—Advice to younger self—Significance of Black business ownership.
 

Interview of Gregory Dulan 2017

Interview with Gregory Dulan

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Dulan, Gregory

Biographical / Historical

Second-generation restaurateur and owner of Dulan's soul food restaurant on Crenshaw Boulevard.

Processing Information

For the Dulan interview, the interviewer also reviewed articles about the Dulan family and their businesses in the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Los Angeles Times, and the LA Weekly; read articles on demographic changes and impending gentrification in the Leimert Park neighborhood; and looked at sources on soul food and trends in African American culinary habits.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview Place: Gregory Dulan's home.
SESSION 1 (6/8/2017) Birth and growing up in Los Angeles—Businesses in South Los Angeles—Family background and traditions—Father, Adolf Dulan, opens Hamburger City—Working in the family business—Being bussed to Westchester High School—Racism during high school years.
SESSION 2 (7/11/2017) Attending Howard University—Life in Washington, D.C.—Summer internships and working in a bank—Being recruited into Chase Manhattan internship program—Racism at Chase—Getting hired at Chase—Work life and travel at Chase—Working with small business owners in the Bronx—Being African American in the banking industry in the '70s—Racism during his travels—Returning to the family business.
SESSION 3 (8/18/2017) Racism in corporate environments—Effectiveness of diversity recruitment programs in the banking industry—Mentoring his brother at Chase—Father opens Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch—Father's transition from Hamburger City to Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch—"Miss Flossie" of Flossie's becomes Aunt Kizzy's chef—Working with his father and transitioning to his own business—Starting a catering business—Early days of Aunt Kizzy's Catering.
SESSION 4 (9/7/2017) Purchases business property—Southern vs. soul food—Menu and Black culinary traditions—Owning both a catering and a restaurant business—Biggest catering event and lessons learned—The L.A. Riots and how they jump started Dulan's restaurant business.
SESSION 5 (9/27/2017) Business model and biggest expenses—Staffing and marketing—The impact of social media—Getting into the school lunch business—Competition—Father's advice—Expansion—Impact of neighborhood demographic change—Technological changes—Advice to young entrepreneurs.
 

Interview of Brenda and William J. Galloway 2017

Interview with Brenda and William J. Galloway

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Galloway, Brenda
Creator: Galloway, William, J

Biographical / Historical

Co-owners of Summit Enterprises, a real estate investment business in Pasadena, California established in 1976.

Processing Information

For the Galloway interview, the interviewer also reviewed articles about the Galloways in local publications, including "Bill and Brenda Galloway Endowment for Education," in Pasadena Community Foundation and "Hollywood Party Brings More than $10 Million to African American Museum," in the Washington Post (May 2016).
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview Place: The Galloway's home in Pasadena, California.
SESSION 1 (8/8/2017) Bill Galloway's birth and family background--Early years in Oklahoma--Migration to Pasadena, California in 1956--Early years--Purchasing first property--Attending Pasadena City College--Working as a draftsman after college--Being drafted into the army and time in Vietnam--Stint in North Carolina and meeting Brenda Galloway--Working in banking--Venture into entrepreneurship--Access to capital and real estate--Starts Summit Enterprises in 1976.
SESSION 2 (8/10/2017) Brenda Galloway's birth and family background—Start-up money--Work distribution in the early years--Purchasing the Preble House is a turning point--Rent control--Strategies in real estate investment--New technology and the shift to online and social media--Family involvement and succession--Gentrification and demographic changes--Community involvement and involvement with the Smithsonian Institution--Legacy and advice.
 

Interview of Kim L. Hunter 2018

Interview with Kim L. Hunter

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Hunter, Kim, L.

Biographical / Historical

Owner of marketing communications firm Lagrant Communications, as well as the Lagrant Foundation and KLH Enterprises.

Processing Information

For the Hunter interview, the interviewer also looked at articles on the rise of African Americans in the advertising/communication industry, as well as articles on Hunter in the Los Angeles Sentinel and in trade publications such as PR Week and AD Age. In addition, she read an essay Hunter had published in Crisis Communications by Kathleen Fearn-Banks.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Kim L. Hunter's office.
SESSION 1 (2/6/2018) Parents' background—Home environment—Parents' separation—Attending Central High School—Started working at 12—Dealing with domestic and neighborhood violence—Central High School experience—Work life—Attending University of Washington in Seattle—College years and life in Seattle—The African American experience on the West Coast—The Association of Black Business Students at University of Washington—Getting hired by Baxter, a medical products business, and moving to Los Angeles—Relocation to Minneapolis—Life in Minneapolis—Moving back to Los Angeles—Becoming an entrepreneur in the '90s.
SESSION 2 (2/15/2018) Early clients—Working with the Minority AIDS Project—Distinction between communications, advertising, and marketing—Educating the Black community about AIDS—Hunter's coming out to his family—The workflow at Hunter's Lagrant Foundation—History of multicultural advertising—Authenticity and tokenism in the communications industry—Adding the Hispanic market to his capabilities—Early learning curves—The importance of value proposition—Downsizing after the loss of an account—Crisis communication—CompUSA—AT&T and Bank of America—Representing Johnnie Cochran—Class consciousness in L.A.'s Black community.
SESSION 3 (3/27/2018) The story behind Hunter's name—His three "children"—Starting Lagrant Communications—Staffing—Promoting the business—The importance of strategic networking—Expenses and profitability—Expansion and adding the LGBTQ market—Social justice and consumerism—Technological change and social media—Involvement in trade organizations—Policy changes and the 1996 California State ballot Proposition 209—The Lagrant Foundation—Advice to younger self and the significance of Black business ownership.
 

Interview of Lynn Allen Jeter 2018

Interview with Lynn Allen Jeter

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Jeter, Lynn Allen

Biographical / Historical

Owner of Lynn Allen Jeter & Associates, a public relations, special events, and marketing firm in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

For the Jeter interview, the interviewer also researched Motown's heyday during the '60s and '70s, looked at articles on African Americans in the advertising/communication industry, and reviewed a number of articles on Lynn Jeter and her mentor, PR pioneer Pat Tobin, in local publications such as the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Sentinel.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Lynn Allen Jeter's office in Hollywood, California.
SESSION 1 (2/27/2018) Birth—Family background—Family relationship with the Amish—Moving to Los Angeles—Father's work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)—Childhood in Los Angeles—Family religion—Racist incident during road trip—High school years—Joining the Black Panthers and protests—Mother's work as an educator—Traveling across the country and the Green Book—Colorism in Ohio.
SESSION 2A (3/6/2018) Attending college in Ohio—Experience at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio—Transferring to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio—Watts Riots—Working at Motown record company in Detroit.
SESSION 2B (3/6/2018) Transfers back to Los Angeles with Motown—Working for Stevie Wonder—Becoming an entrepreneur.
SESSION 3 (3/15/2018) Setting up Lynn Allen Jeter & Associates—Learning curve—Expanding to public relations—The communications industry—Crisis management—The unpredictability of the business—Staffing—Profits and pricing strategy—Technological changes—Industry organizations—African American entertainers and public relations—Loyalty and success in the Black community—Significance of Black business ownership—Advice to younger self.
 

Interview of Denise Legaux 2017

Interview with Denise Legaux

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Legaux, Denise

Biographical / Historical

Owner of Harold and Belle's, a long-established restaurant in the West Adams neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

For the Legaux interview, the interviewer also reviewed articles in local publications and media. Key articles were "Viewing Los Angeles through a Creole Lens" in the New York Times (Jan 2016) and "Family Food," KCET (March 2011).
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Harold and Belle's restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
SESSION 1 (7/6/2017) Birth and family background--Early years in New Orleans--Creole and southern Black culture--Migration to Los Angeles--Life in West Adams during the 1960s--Racial tension in LA and the Watts Riots--High school and post-high school years--Venture into entrepreneurship.
SESSION 2 (8/15/2017) Work history--Working with husband at Hungry Harold's, his first business venture--Taking over Harold and Belle's in 1982--Making changes to the business and getting investors--The beginnings of Harold and Belle's--Change of clientele--Shooting at the restaurant—The 1992 LA Riots--Hurricane Katrina--Evolution of cuisine at Harold and Belle's--Taking charge—Technological changes: first website and point-of-sale system—Son Ryan Legaux's involvement and later ownership--Community involvement--Gentrification--Legacy.
 

Interview of Evelyn Reeves 2018

Interview with Evelyn Reeves

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Reeves, Evelyn

Biographical / Historical

Owner of First Security Investment Company, a real estate and property management company in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

For the Reeves interview the interviewer also researched articles on First Security Investment, the Consolidated Realty Board, white flight, and racially restrictive covenants.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes. Session one was initially recorded as two sessions, with the first part being approximately three minutes long. The two sections have been merged into one continuous session.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Evelyn Reeves's office at First Security Investment Company in Los Angeles, California.
SESSION 1 (1/23/2018) Birth and family background--Family buys home—Attending Los Angeles High School—Father purchases multi-unit property—Family moves to the west side—African American financing—College years—Working for Andre Vaughn—Getting real estate license—Real estate and racially restrictive covenants—Fair housing—Selling first house—Fair Housing Act.
SESSION 2 (2/28/2018) Appointed to California Department of Real Estate—Rumford Act—White flight—Multiethnic relations—Becoming owner of First Security Investment Company—Tenants and rent control—Section 8 vouchers—Profits—Difficult tenants—Growth of staff—Promoting the business—Grooming a younger generation—City's recycling program—Demographic changes and gentrification—The importance of Black business ownership.
 

Interview of Lonzia Shay 21198/zz002kcd9h 2017

Interview with Lonzia Shay

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Shay, Lonzia
Language of Material: English.

Biographical / Historical

Second-generation owner of Little Red Hen Coffee Shop in Altadena, California, which was established by Shay's mother in 1972.

Processing Information

For the Shay interview, the interviewer also reviewed reviews and articles in local media, such as the Pasadena Star News and the Pasadena Weekly.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of session two. Because of technical problems with the recording,the audio for session one was poor and difficult to understand, and so instead of compiling a timed log, the interviewer transcribed that entire session. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review this material in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: The Little Red Hen Coffee Shop in Altadena, California.
SESSION 1 (5/9/2017) Birth and family background--Migration to Los Angeles--Life in Mississippi--Early years in Pasadena--Mother's early real estate investing--Mother buys The Little Red Hen in 1972--Early childhood--First job--Brother "hid in the dark"--Religion--The beginnings of The Little Red Hen—Start-up money--Early jobs--Learning to cook at Bullocks--The importance of food in the Shay family--Family's involvement in politics--Racial dynamics in Mississippi--Dropping out of high school--Watts Riots—Black-owned businesses in the neighborhood--Working at Bullocks and learning how to cook--Work history--Working for his mother--Working at Optimist Boys' Home--Clientele at the Red Hen.
SESSION 2 (6/15/2017) Life in Mississippi--Becoming owner of The Little Red Hen--Changes made to The Red Hen--Staffing--Customer loyalty--Competition--Catering--Retirement--Technology.
 

Interview of Gail Valentine Taylor 2017

Interview with Gail Valentine Taylor

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Taylor, Gail Valentine

Biographical / Historical

Third-generation owner of Woods-Valentine Mortuary in Pasadena, California.

Processing Information

For the Taylor interview, the interviewer also reviewed articles on the Valentine family in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Pasadena Star, and the Pasadena Weekly. She also consulted a number of articles on black funerals and funeral homes, including "The Colored Embalmer: Homegoings, Capitalism, and African American Civil Rights" by Paul Harvey and "The Disappearance of a Distinctively Black Way to Mourn" by Tiffany Stanley, published in the Atlantic.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Woods-Valentine Mortuary in Pasadena, California.
SESSION 1 (10/24/2017) Birth and family background—Father's history—Mother's history—Migration to Pasadena, California—Family life in Pasadena—Childhood neighborhood—"Homecoming" in Mt. Olive, Arkansas—Life in Arkansas—Taylor's maternal grandfather—Religion and community in Mt. Olive—Shifting from sharecropping to factories—Financial advice from her father—Attending school in Pasadena—Pasadena High School—Father purchases mortuary business in 1954—Protest at school—Political involvement and politics at home.
SESSION 2 (11/14/2017) College years—First Black history class at University of California, Santa Barbara—Life at UC Santa Barbara—Transferring to University of California, Berkeley—Life at Berkeley—Taylor's first job outside of the family business—Working with substance abuse in Oakland—Transferring to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena—Working for the family business—Learning the business—Transitioning to ownership—Staffing—Changing demographics in Pasadena—Technology—Trends in mortality rates—Policy changes in the industry—Changing African American mortuary traditions—Advice to entrepreneurs.
 

Interview of William J. Taylor 2018

Interview with William J. Taylor

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Taylor, William, J.

Biographical / Historical

Owner of A+ Moving and former owner of Robert Taylor Furniture in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

In the case of the Taylor interview, the interviewer found that there was very little published information about his businesses themselves. She did, however, research the 54th Street commercial area in the Los Angeles Sentinel.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Tolliver's Barber Shop in Los Angeles.
SESSION 1 (3/8/2018) Birth and background—Parents' background—Childhood neighborhood—Parents' work life—A Seventh Day Adventist education—Religion—Incidents at Lynnwood School—Racial dynamics of the Seventh Day Adventist community—Attending La Sierra College—Working for the Student Labor for Adventist Vacation Employment —The Watts Riots.
SESSION 2 (3/11/2018) Watts Riots—Father's business interests—Working with his father—College years—Purchasing Robert Taylor Furniture--The Sylmar Earthquake—Going into business with his mother.
SESSION 3 (3/18/2018) Closure of the furniture store—Adding the moving business—Listing as a piano mover—Working at Greenacres—Unusual moving jobs—Setting up the moving business—Dealing with complaints—Staffing—Changes in the industry—Women in the business—Expenses—Workers' compensation—Technology—Changing the company's name—Succession—Advice to younger self—Significance of Black business ownership.
 

Interview of Lawrence Tolliver 2017

Interview with Lawrence Tolliver

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Tolliver, Lawrence

Biographical / Historical

Owner of Tolliver's Barber Shop in Los Angeles.

Processing Information

For the Tolliver interview, the interviewer also looked at articles and news reports on Tolliver and his barbershop and also at selected academic studies of Black barbershops, particularly Cutting along the Color Line: Black Barber Shops in America by Quincy T. Mills.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: Tolliver's Barber Shop in Los Angeles, California.
SESSION 1 (9/12/2017) Birth and family background—Move to Los Angeles—Early childhood—Life in South L.A.—High school years—Attending barber college—Apprenticeship with Charles Pigford—Purchasing his own barbershop—Watts Riots—Early days as a business owner—Trends in Black hair styles—Staffing—Barbershops and community—A typical day at the barbershop—Returning to college.
SESSION 2 (10/3/2017) American Barber College—Building a clientele—Female barbers—Barbershop expenses—Expansion—History of the barber pole—Attention from the media—The L.A. Riots—25th anniversary of the L.A. Riots—Developing a relationship with L.A. Times journalist Steve Lopez—Tolliver and Rosa Parks—Attracting a younger clientele—Obama's and Trump's election night events at the barbershop—Neighborhood demographic changes—Pricing and minimum wage policies—Succession—Advice to younger entrepreneurs.
 

Interview of Winsor Williams 2017

Interview with Winsor Williams

Creator: Hester, Yolanda
Creator: Williams, Winsor

Biographical / Historical

Owner of Antique Stove Heaven, a Los Angeles antique stove repair business that opened in the late 1970s.

Processing Information

Since Antique Stove Heaven has received a great deal of local and national press, the interviewer also reviewed articles in the L.A. Weekly, the Wave, the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Los An-geles Times, the New York Times, and trade publications.
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. The interviewee was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.

Scope and Contents

Interview place: The home of Winsor Williams in Los Angeles, California.
SESSION 1 (9/5/2017) Birth and parents' migration to Los Angeles—Parents' background—Childhood home—Parents' occupations—Father's moving company—Father is first African American agent for Bekins Van Lines—Father's involvement in the community—Childhood neighborhood and education—Family traditions—Working in the family business—Watts Riots—High school years and work—Attending college—Works for family business—1994 earthquake—Becoming unionized—Father's death and closing the business—The financial impact of union requirements—Working at Robert Taylor Furniture—Learning to repair his first stove—Opening his own business—The history of stoves.
SESSION 2 (9/19/2017) Deciding to become an entrepreneur—Advice from his father—Setting up his business—Naming his business—Attention from the press—Staffing—Competition—L.A. Riots—Keeping the business in the neighborhood—Profitability—Brands and the popularity of antique stoves—Biggest expenses—Encounter with the police—Importance and challenges of Black business ownership—Debt—Impact of the housing market—Policy changes—Technological changes—Neighborhood demographic change and gentrification/historic preservation—Significance of Black business ownership—Advice to young entrepreneurs—Politics and being a Republican.