This website provides only an introduction to the history of Biddy Mason and the origins of Black Los Angeles. For those seeking more information on related topics, we encourage you to explore some of the following resources. For a bibliography of scholarly works that inform our project, click here.
Huntington Centennial Lecture on Biddy Mason
In January 2020, Sarah Barringer Gordon and Kevin Waite delivered the first of several planned public lectures on The Long Road to Freedom project. Listen to the audio of that lecture below.
Sponsored jointly by the Huntington Library and the University of Southern California, the ICW is a center for scholarship on the history of California and the West. The Institute, directed by William Deverell, organizes public talks and scholarly events, sponsors publications, funds research, and engages in a number of outreach activities.
Between 1830 and 1930, hundreds of Black people converted to Mormonism. The project, directed by W. Paul Reeve, explores their stories and uncovers the diverse history of the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints in its first century of existence.
The museum is a treasure trove of greater Los Angeles history, and the Homestead Blog, with most contributions from Museum Director Paul Spitzzeri, features some of the very finest writing on regional history from 1830-1930. Subscribe to the blog to receive deeply researched essays on a wide range of historical topics delivered right to your inbox.
The spirit of Biddy Mason lives on through First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles. Nearly a century-and-a-half after Mason co-founded it, F.A.M.E Church remains a pillar of L.A.’s African American community. Tune in to the weekly radio broadcast or visit F.A.M.E Church in person for worship service on Sunday morning.