I only recommend books that I have read, which is why I haven’t listed Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book” or Stephen Gee’s “Los Angeles City Hall: An American Icon.” I look forward to reading both of them, but I’m not there yet.
Marne L. Campbell also appears in a video on Archive.org.
“Making Black Los Angeles,” by Marne L. Campbell, 2016. University of North Carolina Press.
In fact, I’m still reading Marne L. Campbell’s “Making Black Los Angeles,” but she won my interest from the beginning by creating a database of “all African American households in Los Angeles between 1850 and 1910.” She is my kind of historian.
I’m also mentioning this book because neither the Los Angeles Times nor the L.A. Review of Books has ever said anything about Campbell (she’s an associate professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University) or her work. “The Library Book” and “Los Angeles City Hall” have gotten lots of attention and either of them would be good holiday gifts. But consider putting “Making Black Los Angeles” on your list.
No local bookstore seems to have “Making Black Los Angeles” in stock, but all of them will order it. The book is also available from Amazon.