#TBT South LA: Jefferson High, 1938

Jefferson High 1938

A Jefferson High Yearbook from 1938 photographed at the Southern California Library | Daina Beth Solomon

When Jefferson High School opened in 1916, South Los Angeles was beginning to reflect the diversity of people immigrating to Los Angeles from around the country and the world. By 1938, a single page in the yearbook listed names as diverse as “Satoshi Suzuki,” “Dora Mae Ten,” “Esperanza Garza” and “Marcellus Reed.” The faces staring up — some serious, some smiling — come from Black, Latino, Asian and White backgrounds.

While diversity in the city as a whole has continued increasing, South L.A. in some areas has become more homogenous. These days, the neighborhood surrounding Jefferson is 91 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Black and 1 percent Asian, according to the 2012 American Community Survey. Now that will be a different kind of yearbook.

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This yearbook resides in the archives of the Southern California Library

Got a historical photo from South L.A.? Email it to [email protected] to be featured in the next “Throwback Thursday South L.A.”

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