In the summer of ’63, black students led protests against the South Bay’s white-only neighborhoods

1960s: Days of Rage

Hundreds of demonstrators jam sidewalks in the Southwood housing tract to march for fair housing in 1963.

“It was the hot, fraught summer of 1963. Every weekend 18-year-old college students Bobbie and Renee Hodges would trek over to the boiling, treeless Torrance housing tract of Southwood Riviera Royale, developed by Don Wilson Builders. With their teased hair and stylish summer shift dresses they looked like the quintessential early ’60s All-American girls. But this All-American neighborhood was closed to them, for the simple fact that they were black. To fight this injustice, they sat-in and picketed in front of the planned community’s sales office at 23448 Evalyn Avenue. The twins were ‘dedicated, dynamic and full of spirit,’ according to the Los Angeles Sentinel, and by August they had been arrested three times for their efforts. But Bobbie explained to the newspaper that their sacrifices were well worth it. ‘Our…

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