"There was a strange new construction going on in the inner city. Our stately schools, built before WWII, were beginning to resemble prisons. Certain sections were sealed off, the green quads and courtyards placed off limits of paved over. Bungalows appeared as class sizes grew, decreasing area available for playground activities. Calculus, Greek, Latin, and Journalism were among the classes that disappeared from the curriculum. In the November 1964 election, a local Fair Housing Act proposition was defeated by White voters-which angered my parents, who resented the restricted housing that had crippled their chances for economic stability in the early years of their marriage.
At home, my parents began to fail economically as the price of material things outclimbed their combined incomes. My father could no longer find fruitful employment, abandoned the Republican Party, and became a Democrat. My mother’s paycheck as a seamstress was steadily eroded by bosses bringing in cheaper labor for Mexico. I was exiting puberty, and it was more than obvious that they could not send me to college. My hatred for Los Angeles increased exponentially.
Withing six months, between June and November of 1964, I graduated from high school, started college, turned eighteen, left home, married, dropped out of college, threw away my hot-iron pressing comb and curler to go au naturel, and joined L.A.’s political underground. Nine months later, I would give birth to my first child. Days later, in August 1965 (the violence raging three days before being reported in local newspapers), Watts erupted in flames.
Black had become beautiful."
— The Riot Inside Me by Wanda Coleman
"Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation,—in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States."
— Decleration of Sentiments and Resolutions of the Women’s Rights Convention, Held at Seneca Falls, N.Y., July 19th and 20th, 1848.