Oral Histories

Interview of Albert Matthews

Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and one of the first African-American lawyers accepted to the California state bar. Member of the Second Baptist Church.
Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles
African American History
Biographical Note:
Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and one of the first African-American lawyers accepted to the California state bar. Member of the Second Baptist Church.
Foster, Lorn S.
Matthews, Albert D.
Persons Present:
Matthews, Foster, and Foster’s student research assistant, David Brown.
Place Conducted:
Matthews' home.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Lorn S. Foster, Pomona College Charles and Henrietta Johnson Detoy Professor of American Government and Professor of Politics. B.A., California State University, Los Angeles; M.A., Ph.D., University of Illinois.Foster prepared for the interview by going through countless amounts of 2nd Baptist Church archive material to couple the dozens of 2nd Baptist Church members that he had spoken with in person in an effort to better acquaint himself with the life and personality of the interviewee. Foster had also had numerous conversations with Matthews prior to the official interview ever taking place.
Processing of Interview:
The transcript of this interview is a verbatim transcript of the audio recording. It was transcribed by a professional transcribing agency using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the interviewer. Matthews was then given the opportunity to review the transcript in order to supply the missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the contents, and those corrections were entered into the text without further editing or review on the part of the Center for Oral History Research (COHR) staff.
3.75 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
Second Baptist Church is the oldest African-American church in Los Angeles and the first African American Baptist church established in Southern California. It played a prominent role during the civil rights movement in campaigns against racial discrimination in housing, public accommodations and education. These interviews with members of the leadership of Second Baptist Church were conducted by Professor Lorn S. Foster of Pomona College. They document both the history of Second Baptist and the narrators' lives as members of Los Angeles' black community.
Matthews’ childhood and family in Oklahoma---Family members such as his grandfather and parents and their lives in Oklahoma City---High school life: playing in the band---Sister and important teachers of his in Oklahoma City---Short stint as a salesman, starting when he was a child in Oklahoma City---Different Baptist churches and the Baptist conventions---The history of the 2nd Baptist Sunday school and the rift that the Sunday school caused---Dunbar High School and the streetcars---Joining Mt. Carmel Church and life in Washington D.C.---Sunday school at Calvary and Mt. Carmel---Army life and life for Blacks in the Military and the importance of standardized testing for Blacks in the young life of Matthews.