A Reckoning of Racism in the Jewel City

A shocking virtual exhibit chronicles the history of discrimination and white supremacy in the City of Glendale


Robert Giles, a 28-year-old member of the American Nazi party, protests against civil rights advocates on August 29, 1963.

Kristina Cruz, Staff Writer

The Glendale Library Arts and Culture, through its ReflectSpace Gallery, has presented us with a virtual exhibition about Glendale’s shameful history of discrimination and violence against people of color: Reckoning: Racism & Resistance in Glendale. This exhibition allows the people of our community to take a deeper look into past of their city, the place they’ve been living in for years but probably really didn’t know.

Glendale itself recognizes and acknowledges its past racial biases, and it also acknowledges the Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash peoples as our original land caretakers. During the 1900s in Glendale, there were many new groups being resurrected and formed. In 1921-1930s the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis made their way into the city of Glendale, and these groups established their headquarters within it boundaries.

Up until the 1980s, white supremacy reigned over our city, and new laws and actions were being made in Glendale to oppose people of color from entering the city. Glendale was known for being an “All-American town”, meaning that it was considered a predominantly white city.

Glendale was also known as a “sundown town“, meaning that people of color, particularly African American citizens, were beaten of arrested by the local police if they were discovered on the streets after dark. Although our city has come a long way in making up for the sins of its founders, the repercussions of those early injustices are still felt today.

To find out more on this subject, don’t miss this amazing virtual experience. You will begin with the first page where you can scroll down and see first-hand records of the Glendale’s history of KKK, white supremacy, Nazism, and more. Prepare to be astonished and infuriated. We must never allow this to happen in Glendale again.