A collection of photographs and ephemera spanning nearly 50 years of the life of Willa Mae West, an active participant and
leader in many African American social organizations in the Los Angeles area. West served as a national officer for the Improved
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW), acting as Grand Directress of the Arts and Crafts Department.
West also served as a Chaplain Major for her local chapter of IBPOEW, as a member of the Crenshaw Committee on Aging, and
volunteered in various capacities for the City of Hope. Most of the photographs in the collection date from the 1920s to the
1940s and include studio portraits--presumably of Willa Mae and her family, photo booth shots, group shots with friends at
Knott's Berry Farm, and several World War II-era images featuring men in uniform. One of the albums is devoted exclusively
to Masonic and fraternal order events from the 1950s and 1960s and includes 16 large photographs of Willa Mae and others dressed
in their regalia as members, for instance, of the Prince Hall Masons Los Angeles Consistory and the Order of the Eastern Star.
Aside from the photographs, the collection contains news clippings recounting events of African American social organizations
in which Willa participated, event programs, correspondence, award certificates, and more.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.