Title: "L.A. Housing Fight Looms As Japs Return," Chicago Defender, 1/13/1945, (denshopd-i35-00135)
Densho ID: denshopd-i35-00135

L.A. Housing Fight Looms As Japs Return

LOS ANGELES -- Bitter race battles over Los Angeles' crowded living quarters loomed here this week.

In the midst of fights against lily-white restrictive covenants, Negro tenants here face possible court battles for property formerly belonging to Japanese-Americans.

Army permission for evacuated Japanese-Americans to return to the West Coast resulted this week in Negro tenants of the Honjuwanji Buddhist Temple being served notice to vacate the property.

The temple now houses the Providence Baptist church and 75 Negro war workers. Dr. L.B. Brown, president of Providence Baptist Institute, announced the church group has retained an attorney in the vacancy matter.

"We have made a $7,200 down payment, thinking that we were purchasing the temple and we have $25,000 to put down," Dr. Brown said.

"We are not opposed to the Japanese returning, but we believe, since many of our people are war workers, that we are entitled to certain considerations," he said.

The Rev. Julius A. Goldwater, a Buddhist priest who was given power of attorney by the Jap owners of the temple, one of the largest in Southern California, gave the notice to vacate January 5, when the lease expires.

Goldwater said he had not heard whether Japanese owners of the temple are returning, but he gave the vacancy notice so the premises would be ready in case they did return.

Meanwhile an organization to fight the mass eviction of colored resident by lily-white pacts, was formed this week by P.R. Smallwood, Negro realtor. Hundreds of non-white residents of an area boulevard, north by West Adams bounded on the south by Jefferson boulevard, west by Arlington and east by Kenwood, face eviction due to a mass agreement to restrict the occupancy of homes in the three tracts to persons of the Caucasian race.

Smallwood charged that real estate operators had sold homes to the colored residents without informing them of the existence of the restrictive pact. Atty. Hugh Macbeth, counsel for several home owners threatened with eviction, outlined the action against the anti-Negro pacts.

During the recent courtroom ruling which temporarily halted the eviction of Negro tenants from contested areas. Atty. MacBeth asked Judge Alfred E. Pcanosa that contractual agreements with anti-racial clauses be voided in the interest of public policy. The jurist promised to weigh the lawyers matters when the case is resumed on Jan. 11.

Mrs. Parker Lee was elected president of the new organization and Mrs. Maudie White was named secretary. Among those attending were Mesdames Mathew Williams, Lottie Smith, Alma M. Bowden, Williams, Jennie Thomas, Anita Addison, and Messrs. Smallwood, Williams, Parker Lee, Sidney Addision, John M. Bowden, J.R. Lott and James Lawrence.