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The Eastside Boys & Girls


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Originally named The Eastside Boys and founded in 1909, the organization was composed of young African Americans who resided in an area that extended from the northernmost tip of Boyle Heights, southward through downtown and into Watts. When the U.S. outlawed restrictive housing covenants, the families began to spread out to other areas of the city. Still, the members maintained relationships by holding regular meetings. For the past 43 years, the group has held large annual get-togethers. This year, on Saturday, Aug. 10, approximately 500 people gathered at the Altadena home of James Washington, Jefferson High class of ’49. At one time, according to board member Warner Backstrom, 90 percent of African American high-schoolers went to “Jeff.” Among those pictured are former Congresswoman Diane Watson, columnist Larry Aubrey and attorney Hal Miller. Not pictured are former Congresswoman Yvonne Burke, former Judge Billy Mills and singer Ernie Andrews. Deceased members include Mayor Tom Bradley, columnist Gertrude Gibson, the Rev. O.C. Smith and attorney Leo Branton. Eastside member and 8th District Councilman Bernard C. Parks bestows honor on member Rita Walters, the first African American woman to serve on the Los Angeles Council.