Red Edendale

Content on these pages was generated by students in HST 371, Southern California History, at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in Spring 2013.

The Communist community in Edendale was one of activist action and overall acceptance of Communist ideals within the artistic bohemia they called home. The “heyday” for Communism within the community of Edendale exploded in Los Angeles as the recession turned into the Great Depression of the 1930s. Due to the suffering of the majority of the population at that time Communism established a strong presence both politically and artistically within the community before starting a decline after the Second World War when prosperous times reappeared. (Hurewitz, 10-11)

The Communist community attracted many other Communists to Edendale for two major reasons. The first reason was that Communists wanted to live within a specific area where they will feel a sense of camaraderie. The desire for close connection with individuals of similar ideals was important for a group of individuals who were viewed as mortal enemies of American Democracy. The second reason they viewed Edendale as ideal was due to the housing situation within Edendale which provided cheap homes while being within minutes of downtown. (Hurewitz, 160)

Once settled the Communist community focused a lot of its time on socialist politics, and arts within the community of Los Angeles. The Communist chapter of Edendale was closely associated with the local arts community. The art forms that they focused on were primarily film and paint. Whatever artistic venue was available, Communists would put socialist messages within it.

The Communist community was also active within the political sphere of Edendale and the surrounding area. They commonly helped out with racial issues or status issues that emerged as the city expanded.  Communists were even part of major racial political groups such as the NAACP. Racial problems were perfect ways for the Communist community to network itself with other groups of races and even further spread the ideals of socialism. It is safe to say that the Communist community was an important and very involved community within Edendale and critical to the rich history of the ever changing neighborhood.