Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Racism at the Fox Theater

The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.

In the 1920s, racism against dark-skinned people (mainly Mexicans and blacks) was fairly commonplace in Fullerton businesses, like restaurants and the Chapman Theater (Later called the Fox Theater).

Jessie Corona de Montoya, in an interview for the CSUF Oral History program, said, “In the twenties, there were people that weren’t allowed anywhere...Mexican people, even blacks...they wouldn’t serve them, just because they had a dark skin.”

Describing her experiences going to the movies at the Chapman Theater, she remembers, “Another thing that was really bad, I thought the worst, and was so humiliating was when you went in a theater and they flashed a flashlight on your face, to see what color you were.” In those days, “the blacks and other races sat on the left-hand side, in a little small area.”

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