Major General Peter Gravett recalls various memories of growing up in San Pedro and the experience for African Americans during an era when blatant racist policies were still the norm.

February 4, 2021
Stories of L.A. Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (SOLAHA)

Vol. II, No. 42 Major General Peter Gravett recalls memories of growing up in San Pedro and the experience for African Americans during an era when racial discrimination was both subtle and blatant.

Commemorating Black History Month it is timely to again hear from Major Gravett who talks about selling newspapers, playing football at the Boys Club field that’s now VONS (was Safeway), buying a home and   reveals startling stories of discrimination that was both subtle and blatant even in the “melting pot” of  San Pedro and the region. Also fond memories of the Boys Club, playing ball, selling newspapers in the Beacon Street area that is so memorably missed.

His remarkable  dual career in military and law enforcement from National Guard enlisted man to general in the United States Army National Guard is outstanding. He inspired to pursue his military service by his father, who was a member of the famous Tuskegee Airmen.Major General Gravett’s  family has had a presence in San Pedro area for nearly 100 years, espouses education, strong work ethic and church to achieve success in life.

His parents grew up in the segregated south and moved to the Los Angeles harbor area to provide a better life for their 12 children who all attended college or university. He grew up in two housing projects in San Pedro and rose from those humble beginnings to receive post-graduate degrees from University of Southern California and Harvard College; and earned his high rank in the Army National Guard. He was the first African-American in the 225 year history of the guard to become a division commander.

Read about his origins and life journey in his memoir From Last Garrison To The Ranch House.

His participation in SOLAHA continues to add dimension to our roster with his strong core values of education and dedicated work ethic, a  valued addition to all the amazing stories as  we continue to enlighten and entertain and  preserve history for future generations.

SOLAHA thanks Los Angeles County (LAC) Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4 for on-going sponsorship; and our generous website sponsors Renaissance Group (Erik Eisenberg), Clean San Pedro (Steve Kleinjan), George Van Buren & Associates (accounting services), Jim Hussey (State Farm Insurance), ILWU Local 94, L.A. Council District 15, and famed sports photographer Peter Read Miller. Port Town websites continues to add the weekly segments to the website. Please tell all to tune in!

We hope you continue to be well and safe as we traverse this tenuous time.



Other Memories From Peter Gravett