Wealthy middle class blacks in Los Angeles, 1960’s. Archive film 97980

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Wealthy middle class blacks in Los Angeles, 1960’s.  Archive film 97980

Wealthy middle class blacks in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Discussion poor blacks and rich blacks. Discussion group.
Fascinating series of opinions amongst a group of about 20 black Los Angeles residents. Main point of discussion is the continuing number of blacks moving into Los Angeles, and we here 1600 black people move into Los Angles each month.
Woman starts: ‘As you recall in our last meeting we discussed the problem of integrated housing and we found out that almost 1700 negroes are moving into Los Angeles a month. By 1970 there will probably be a million negroes in this city and I know that people are concerned about this. They may not talk about it vey often, but I’ve certainly heard them chatter in Church when he said there would be a million negroes in Los Angeles.’
Man says ‘The majority of these people are not like we are. We are part of this exodus too, but we are maybe a little embarrassed that we’re going to have a mass element come in that’s going to create a tremendous social problem in the community to which we find a great deal of difficulty relating to.’
Woman says ‘well I don’t want to sound like a do-gooder, because I really am not and I’m somewhat of a snob but I do think with these people who are coming in who are not our intellectual equals nor are they of our sociological bracket, they’re not to be a handicap to us. They will find there own level (now I do sound like a snob, but I don’t mean it this way), but they’re used to living a certain way and they too might rise up above their origins and might one day be our associates.’
Man talks ‘The whole tone of this meeting is that we’re setting ourselves up as little puppet Jesuses. We can’t help anyone else until we help ourselves. The negro has turned to professions – his own, medicine, dentistry, law, or psychiatry, and he has the profession of being a negro. Many of us have come out here to escape the new second profession of being a negro and we’re out here a while and we’re working in our own fields and we find out that here the same problems are following on the heels of 1600 negroes a month that come into Los Angeles. Now this gives us problems – it’s our own identifying with these negroes that are coming in with their carpetbags that causes us problems.’
Man talks ‘this is our basic embarrassment that we as negroes have. We want to live together and yet we want to scatter to the far winds and live amongst white people. We are brought up in terms of this: that to have a dark skin, to be a negro – there is something wrong with it. If you have a very impressionable child and raise him in an atmosphere where your colour of skin is something that is looked down upon, that there is something wrong with you, that you don’t have the abilities of other people, no matter how much education, no matter how much training you have, a lot of these impressions stay with you. I feel that we have to search for a new image.
Woman says ‘when I wake up in the morning I don’t look in the mirror and say ‘you are a Negro, therefore you will face life in a certain way’. I see myself as a person, just like all the people I work with and the children that I deal with and they are all people.’
Man says ‘I’ve got to break in here’ (laughter) ‘This idea of this consciousness that you’ve got to look in the mirror to face yourself to go through this about being a negro is very naïve. As individuals this concept was instilled in you before you could think’.


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