Palmer, Celestine

Founder of Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee (LAAAWPAC)





Field Value
ID 143
Title An oral history with Celestine Palmer
Date 2017-02-07
OH ID OH 5958
Citation Celestine Palmer interviewed by Abby Waldrop, February 2, 2017, Los Angeles, California, Oral History #5958, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2019-01-14 17:27:05 UTC
Location Los Angeles, California
Language English
Subjects African American
Family → Childhood Experiences
Locations → South Los Angeles/South Central Los Angeles
Family → Parents
Education → Higher Education
Family → Role Models
Women in the Workplace → Teacher/Professor
Counties → Los Angeles → Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) → Teacher(s)
Family → Parents → activist parents
Historic Periods → 1950s
African American → Events → Civil Rights Movement (1960s)
African American → Organizations → Los Angeles African American Women's Political Action Committee (LAAAPAC)
Family → Marriage
Historic Periods → 1990s
Counties → Los Angeles → Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
Discrimination, Racism, & Segregation
Family → Parenting
Education → Early Childhood Education
Education → Truancy/Anti-truancy
Labor Organizing → Unions → Teacher's Union
Direct Action → Fundraising
African American → Organizations → Los Angeles African American Women's Political Action Committee (LAAAPAC) → Los Angeles African American Women's Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI)
Family → Parenting → Working Mom
Ideology → Feminism
Elections → Presidential Elections → Election 2016 (Trump/Clinton)
Religion → Role of faith in activism
Religion → African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church)
Education → inner city youth programs


An oral history with Celestine Palmer, founder of the Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee [LAAAWPAC] and Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute [LAAAWPPI]. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project headed by California State University, Fullerton, and the Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding Palmer’s activism in the African American community and her support of women in politics. Specifically, she addresses her childhood and family life in Texas before moving to California, her parents’ jobs and their interaction to racism, and her exposure to racism in high school; discusses how her parents encouraged her education, and lists her educational background; recounts her exposure to politics in her father’s barbershop, and his community activism; details her engagement with the Civil Rights Movement, and the start of her participation in politics, helping in campaigns and elections; recalls her motivation to start LAAAWPAC, to help find and support African American women to run for elected office; describes the racism encountered in the public school system, and her experiences teaching in Watts; details her work as a counselor on school attendance; recounts and how she formed the Youth Action League to teach about government; expresses concern over the cuts to public education; details how LAAAWPAC was formed, how funds were raised, and lists several candidates it has supported; mentions other organization she was worked with; discusses the creation of the public policy institute, and successes it has had educating and supporting women; addresses the continued inequality of women participating in politics; talks about how she incorporated her kids into activism; emphasizes the importance of being passionate about an issue; describes her leadership as empowering others; discusses the effect of being caregivers on women leaders, and their focus on results; encourages young women to get involved; talks about the importance of her religious background; details the significance of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and her reaction to her loss; stresses the importance of organizing; and expresses her pride in doing all that she can to get more women involved.


Field Value
File Name 5958_P01.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 105982
Description> Celestine Palmer, c.2010's