Stag Pool Hall

The Stag Pool Hall was downstairs from the offices of C.L. Dellums, West Coast vice president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

The outspoken Dellums was fired by the Pullman Company shortly after joining the Brotherhood, a union formed to organize railway porters in the company’s employ. When the management of Pullman fired Dellums they told him that by employing him they had provided him with transportation across the country to spread, “Bolshevik propaganda.”

To make ends meet, Dellums opened a pool hall below his union offices. Continue reading “Stag Pool Hall”

Christ Holy Sanctified Church

Christ Holy Sanctified ChurchThe Christ Holy Sanctified Church on 7th Street is where musician Saunders King got his start singing and playing piano in the choir. His father, Bishop Judge King, was the church’s pastor.

The church was originally founded in 1910 in Louisiana, but Judge and Sarah King moved to Los Angeles in 1918 to escape racial discrimination. On their trip west, they preached the gospel in open fields from Louisiana to California. In search of mill work in the 1920s, the Kings moved to Oroville, where they established a mixed-race Pentecostal church. They endured religious and racial prejudice; after a mob burned their church and Sarah was shot in the arm by an assailant, they moved to Central California. Continue reading “Christ Holy Sanctified Church”

The Lincoln Theater

Lincoln Theater in 1974

The Lincoln Theater was one of the premiere blues and jazz venues on 7th Street. Surrounded by shops and clubs, the theater hosted legends like Billie Holiday and Paul Robeson among others, adding proof to Tom Bowden’s claim that 7th Street in the 1940s and ’50s was “Harlem West.”

The theater was built between 1919 and 1921, a time when nickelodeons were a popular form of entertainment. The Lincoln replaced two nickelodeons when it was built – it started as a vaudeville stage, before becoming a showplace for films, live music and community events. Continue reading “The Lincoln Theater”

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP)

CL Dellums in his office

The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) was an African American labor union organized in 1925 by A. Philip Randolph, who became its first president and C. L. Dellums, who became the Brotherhood’s first vice president. The largest number of Pullman Porters were in Chicago. C.L. Dellums oversaw the West Coast office of the Brotherhood.

In the early 1900s, The Pullman Palace Car Company operated the majority of the country’s passenger trains. The company became one of the largest employers of African Americans in the 1920s and ’30s. It projected a positive image by helping to fund black churches and businesses. But the reality of working for the Pullman Company was different than the public image the company tried to project.

Continue reading “Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP)”