Oral Histories

Interview of Bobbette Glover

Member of the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. During time at UCLA, was a student in the UCLA High Potential Program.
UCLA High Potential Program
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Research Centers and Programs
Biographical Note:
Member of the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. During time at UCLA, was a student in the UCLA High Potential Program.
Mercado, Juan Pablo
Glover, Bobbette
Persons Present:
Glover and Mercado.
Place Conducted:
Bobbette Glover’s home in View Park, California.
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 Juan Pablo Mercado, graduate student interviewer, UCLA Center for Oral History Research; C.Phil., history, UCLA.Mercado prepared for the interviews by consulting various primary source materials in the file on the High Potential Program (HPP) located in UCLA’s University Archives at the Charles E. Young Research Library. These materials included early proposals for the program, administrative memoranda, meeting minutes, university reports, and correspondence assessing the progress of the HPP. To contextualize the development of the program, Mercado also reviewed secondary literature on such events as the Watts rebellion of 1965, the Chicano Moratorium, the East Los Angeles Blowouts, the occupation of Alcatraz, the anti-war movement, and the numerous student-led protests and campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s. Understanding these circumstances helped put in perspective what was at stake for the people at UCLA and throughout Los Angeles and demonstrated how significant the struggle for political, economic, and social change really was.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. Glover was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verity the accuracy of the content but made no changes.
3 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This is a series of interviews with people who were involved with the High Potential Program (HPP) at UCLA between 1968 and 1971. Although the HPP was one of the earliest efforts to broaden admissions criteria and recruit historically underrepresented students, the archival sources that have been preserved are very limited and, by and large, do not represent the views of those involved. This project attempts to capture those voices and includes not only students who were admitted to the HPP but counselors and mentors, as well as non-HPPP students who helped recruit students to the program and worked to make it a success.In 1968, the first cohort of approximately fifty black and forty-eight Chicana/o students was admitted to the High Potential Program. Subsequently the program broadened its recruitment efforts to include Asian American and Native American students as well. Although the primary aim of the HPP was to recruit students from traditionally underrepresented communities in Los Angeles, the larger hope was that these students would graduate and return to their communities as leaders and organizers. As part of its effort to prepare students for those tasks, the program developed culturally relevant curriculum for its students and thus contributed to the long-term development of ethnic studies classes and programs. The High Potential Program was a short-lived experiment: after three years of consistently diminishing funding and low graduation rates, and in the face of much protest from HPP students, it was discontinued. Different versions of the program emerged in the wake of the HPP, and the Academic Advancement Program (APP) is actually in existence to this day on campus. Yet the program’s successors focused more narrowly on traditional academic achievement, and none of them were able to replicate the HPP’s radical ideals and practices.
Family background, including how parents and grandparents moved to Los Angeles—Paternal grandparents both graduated from Tuskegee Institute—Education a strong emphasis on both sides of the family—Mother stay-at-home mom; father worked for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)—Growing up in South Central Los Angeles—Attending Catholic school; first Black student at elementary school—Living in working-class neighborhood near Manchester Park—Participating in many social activities, including plays and dance lessons—Growing up in Los Angeles was “bigger than life” —Watts Riots and the bursting of the Baldwin Hills dam—Impact of the Leonard Deadwyler case—Not involved in anti-war movement, more interested in domestic Civil Rights Movement—Applying to college and transitioning to Los Angeles City College (LACC) after high school—Exposure to Black Student Union and US Organization at LACC—Involvement in US Organization—Development of cultural nationalism—Regional understanding of Civil Rights Movement—Transition from LACC to the High Potential Program (HPP) at UCLA—Selection process for HPP.
Experience at Los Angeles City College and exposure to diverse student body—Memorable events on campus organized by the Black Student Union—Involvement in the US Organization—Development and challenges to embracing cultural nationalism—Significance of hair style—Moves out of parents’ home in summer of 1968—Transitions to UCLA in fall of 1968—Expectations for UCLA and concept of High Potential Program—Living in the dorms— Relationship with other HPP students—Relationship with Elaine Brown—Coursework at UCLA—Disagreements surrounding possible director of new Black Studies Center—Perspective on shooting in Campbell Hall—Aftermath of the shooting on campus—Living in dorms after the shootings—Leaves UCLA after winter quarter 1969 but remains active member in US Organization until 1971—Shooting the major reason Glover left UCLA—Continues her education after UCLA, eventually earning undergraduate and graduate degrees—Believes in the concept of the High Potential Program and feels she proved the mission of the program.