Legacies of the Street Resources

Abstract images of person, arrow, and lines over ariel view of West Adams neighborhood

Legacies of the Street: Seeking Mobility Justice in West Adams & Mid-City sought to demonstrate the deep relationships between place and people that persist even in the face of transportation injustice. Below is a collection of resources for community members to deepen their own understanding of transportation history of their neighborhood. Some readings address the broader relationship between transportation and systems of inequality, while others can give you hands-on tools to mapping your neighborhood's changes over time.


Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist American City by Eric Avila

This book describes how urban minority communities devastated by the construction of the interstate highway reclaimed their place through cultural expression.

Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, and Resistance by Adonia Lugo

This is a book of borderlands and intersections, a cautionary tale about the dangers of putting infrastructure before culture, and a coming-of-age story about power and identity.

Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism & New Routes to Equity by Robert Bullard, Glenn Steve Johnson, and Angel O. Torres

This book illustrate the insidious contributions of transportation policy and urban planning to the establishment and enforcement of racial and economic inequality.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

This book shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.

Peace in Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh.

The book is a collection of the author's lectures, writings, and conversations that provide a reminder that calls us back to presentness in everyday life. Legacies of the Street presenter Yolanda Davis-Overstreet finds daily inspiration in this text.

Re:Imagining Change: How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World by Doyle Canning and Patrick Reinsborough.

This book provides progressive activists with the tools to get stories into the media, build successful campaigns, and connect with other organizations the world over.

Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney

This book reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America. Looking toward the future, she also highlights the work of African Americans who are opening doors to greater participation in environmental and conservation concerns.

The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America by Sarah Van Gelder

This book chronicles the journey of the author through the small towns, rural spaces, and urban neighborhoods of the US in search of solutions to climate change, social injustice, racist violence, and economic insecurity.


If You Build It, They Will Move: The Los Angeles Freeway System and the Displacement of Mexican East Los Angeles, 1944-1972.” by Gilbert Estrada in Southern California Quarterly. .

Rethinking Environmental Racism: White Privilege and Urban Development in Southern California.” by Laura Pulido in Annals of the Association of American Geographers. .

Who Segregated America?” by Destin Jenkins on Public Books.

"The Curb-Cut Effect" by Angela Glover Blackwell in Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Nina Turner Show: No is Not Enough with Naomi Klein


Web Resources

The Untokening contains resources to learn more about mobility justice.   

Pueblo Planning is a participatory planning and design firm that works from the belief that the voices of residents should be respected as experts, and they should dictate the design of their community.

The Green Book Project was published from 1936 until 1967 by a black postal worker from Harlem, New York, named Victor Green. He created this book to protect African Americans from harm while traveling on America’s open roads and utilizing its public spaces.


West Adams & Mid-City Resources

LA Green Grounds is a grassroots organization of volunteers dedicated to working with residents of South Los Angeles, California to convert their front lawns and parkways into edible landscapes and urban farms. 

The William Grant Still Arts Center offers arts and music classes to the Los Angeles community.

Iconic Restaurants of West Adams have long been a gathering place for community.

The Ron Finley Project envisions a world where gardening is gangsta, where cool kids know their nutrition and where communities embrace the act of growing, knowing and sharing the best of the earth’s fresh-grown food.


Map Resources

Old Maps Online hosts a map-based repository of over 400,000 historical maps from around the world. It is a hub for many other archival and online map collections.

USGS Historical Topographical Map Explorer has a map and timeline based platform that provides access to historical maps

Historical Maps of Southern California has maps of Los Angeles from 1919 to the present.

Historic Map Works, LLC and Historic Urban Plans both have many historical maps available free for viewing. Purchase required on both sites for download or ordering prints.

Resources and historical maps are also available through the Los Angeles Public Library, UCLA Library, and USC Library.


This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a partner of the NEH, and the UC Davis Feminist Research Institute.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities or UC Davis.