Project Proposal

Changes & Continuities in the History of Lincoln High School

For my project, I have chosen Abraham Lincoln High School as my topic.  Lincoln High School (LHS) is located in Lincoln Heights, a neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles, California.  This project will attempt to capture an overall history of the high school by highlighting most notable events and figures.  These events and figures include: the 1933 earthquake, FDR’s Works Progress Administration, 1968 East LA Walkouts, Sal Castro, principal Ethel Percy Andrus, and football player Kenny Washington.

The sources I will be utilizing in my research include newspaper articles, photographs, yearbooks, and oral histories.  I hope to use newspaper articles that discuss the East LA Walkouts. The photographs from LHS’s library archive will provide a visual imagery of what the high school previously looked like.  Through these images a person will get a better sense of the architecture before the school was rebuilt. The yearbooks will provide me more information on the student population and demographics as well as the cultural history of the school throughout time.  This will include the different types of clubs, activities, and classes the school offered. Lastly, I hope to conduct some oral histories of some of the alumni, students, faculty, and staff that work at the school. What I hope to gather from these sources is a better understanding of the history of the high school.  Most importantly, I will be trying to answer the questions: What are the changes and continuities of LHS and why is this important? The most prevalent change of LHS is the student demographic that went from predominantly white to Hispanic/Latino and Asian. Yet, while this change has occurred, there are still continuities in the school’s history.

This project will be a website that will feature descriptive text and also display a map, timeline, and images.  The homepage for this website, I picture several boxes or categories. Each box will be essentially an exhibit. The ones I have in mind are: Notable Figures, 1968 East LA Walkouts, A Look through Yearbooks, and Contemporary Oral Histories (these names may change).  Notable Figures will be predominantly be text-based descriptions with photographs. It will be mini-bios of their role in LHS and what they are known for. Somewhere on this page, I will include an analysis of some changes and continuities of the notable figures throughout time.  Are there any similarities in what they were known for? Differences? What insights can this notable figure give us in what the high school was like at the time? What is different about creating this on a digital platform rather than traditionally on paper is that this will be easier to access.  Especially for the portion where I will write an analysis, I will be able to hyperlink and have readers easily reference back to the corresponding bio page.

The 1968 East LA Walkouts will also be text-based description/summary of the event, but will include a map that will pinpoint the different schools that participated in the event.  I will also include an analysis on the significance of this event and if this is a change of continuity we see in LHS’s history. By utilizing a digital map, the audience can interact with it and have information be easier to access.  Rather than having to look back to a key or the margins for information, after clicking on the pinpoint, the information should appear with a name and description.

A Look through Yearbooks will be a collection of old yearbooks.  This will be displayed on the website as a timeline, probably broken down by decades.  For each year, I hope to summarize the demographic and clubs at the time. This will function similar to a digital archive because each yearbook will come with its own description.  Having this be available in a digital format makes it easily accessible to the public rather than having to go into the archive in person. Also, with keywords and descriptions, this will make it easier for future researchers to find the yearbook most relevant to their research.

Lastly, for Contemporary Oral Histories, this will be a collection of oral histories I gather.  Most accounts I can find online from previous LHS students are usually in text format. Not as much comes in audible format.  This oral history collection will be able to capture the social and cultural history and environment of the students as they attended the school.  What is especially great with an oral history collection online is that we can also post corresponding materials, including the transcript, any images or photographs used or referenced to in the interview, and field notes.  I recognize conducting all of this is a little ambitious which is why some of these categorizes I might cut in the future.

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