The 1965 Watts Riots
1964 seemed to mark a turning point in America; with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, a new age in race relations appeared to be dawning. But the states acted quickly to circumvent the new federal law. California reacted with Proposition 14, which moved to block the fair housing components of the Civil Rights Act. This, and other acts, created a feeling of injustice and despair in the inner cities.
On August 11, 1965, a routine traffic stop in South Central Los Angeles provided the spark that lit the fire of those seething feelings. The riots lasted for six days, leaving 34 dead, over a thousand people injured, nearly 4,000 arested, and hundreds of buildings destroyed.
After the riots, then Governor Pat Brown named John McCone to head a commission to study the riots. The report issued by the Commission concluded that the riots weren't the act of thugs, but rather symptomatic of much deeper problems: the high jobless rate in the inner city, poor housing, bad schools. Although the problems were clearly pointed out in the report, no great effort was made to address them, or to rebuild what had been destroyed in the riots.
The following are some of the many sources available in the University
Library at USC which are useful for the study of the 1965 riots in Watts.
Use the subject
headings listed at the bottom of the page for additional books and reports on the topic.
- Adler, Patricia. "Watts: From Suburb to Black Ghetto." Diss. U of Southern California, 1976.
- Doheny Stacks Ph.D. H'77 A237 (Ask for at Circulation Desk)
- Boston, Archie. The Cause of the 1965 Watts Riot and a Photographic Essay of the Watts Festival Activities. Diss. U of Southern California, 1976.
- Doheny Stacks Lib.A. '76 B747 proj. (Ask for at Circulation Desk).
- Bullock, Paul. Watts: The Aftermath; An Inside View of the Ghetto. New York: Grove, 1969.
- Doheny Stacks; Education; Leavey; VKC F869.W32B8
- Conot, Robert. Rivers of Blood, Years of Darkness: The Unforgettable Classic Account of the Watts Riot. New York: Morrow, 1968.
- VKC F869.L8C66 1968
- Crump, Spencer. Black Riot in Los Angeles: The Story of the Watts Tragedy. Los Angeles: Trans-Anglo, 1966.
- Leavey F869.L8C78
- Fogelson, Robert. The Los Angeles Riots. New York: Arno, 1969.
- Doheny Stacks; Leavey; VKC F869.L8F62
- Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots. Violence in the City --An End or a Beginning? Los Angeles: The Commission, 1965.
- Government Documents; Social Work; VKC HM281.C153v
- Rawitscher, Audrey, comp. Riots in the City: An Addendum to the McCone Commission Report. Los Angeles: National Association of Social Workers, 1967.
- Social Work; VKC HV99.L7R3
- Sears, David. The Politics of Violence: The New Urban Blacks and the Watts Riot. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1973.
- VKC F869.L89N37
- Tyler, Bruce. Black Radicalism in Southern California, 1950-1982. Diss. UCLA, 1983.
- Doheny Stacks F869.L89N42 1983c
To find additional sources in the University Library, use the following
subject headings online or in the card catalog:
- Riots - United States
- Los Angeles - Riots
- Watts Riot - Los Angeles