“I have seen a lot in my lifetime, but the stories of the Section 14 Survivors have again changed the way I view the world around me. Throughout much of my adult life, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time studying and observing majority-white communities. I have
10 Years Strong
June 2, 2016
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While promoting an image of Hollywood luxury in the 1950s and 1960s, the City of Palm Springs’ racially restrictive covenants prohibited Black people from sharing that good life or living in white neighborhoods. Instead, Black and Mexican Americans could only build homes in the Section 14 area of the Agua Caliente tribe’s reservation. Then, over a 10-year span from the late 1950s through the 1960s, Palm Springs hatched a plan to demolish Section 14 for the purposes of developing it into more lucrative commercial enterprises. To gain possession of this prime downtown real estate, the city hired contractors to bulldoze the privately-owned houses, often with personal property and belongings inside, and then the city sent the Palm Springs Fire Department to burn the destruction. Black and Mexican residents were often forced to flee Section 14 with only what they could carry.