How some African Americans fled the Jim Crow South to find refuge in the California desert

Palm Springs had historic Black communities, as hundreds of Black Americans moved to the desert in the first part of the 20th century. Many came from the South to escape Jim Crow laws. Photo by Shutterstock.

In Palm Springs, 80% of residents are white, according to the U.S. Census. But that wasn’t always the case. Native Americans were the original inhabitants. And hundreds of Black Americans moved to the desert in the first part of the 20th century. They came from the South to escape Jim Crow laws, but also from LA and the Bay Area, looking for work and more land. Many of their descendants are still there. LA Times reporter Tyrone Beason wrote about the historic Black communities of Palm Springs.

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