Notably absent from the research done by Moira Kenney and the youth of the Benjamin Franklin Branch Library ("Pride of Place," July 15) was the significant African American presence in Boyle Heights since the 1920s. My mother's family came to the Heights in 1923 and she was born there in 1929. My paternal grandmother came to Boyle Heights during World War II, finding work at Union Station.
The African American community in Boyle Heights centered on Michigan and Pennsylvania avenues, although African Americans lived throughout the Boyle Heights community. The Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church was a spiritual gathering place for the African American community for many years. Mike Garrett, standout football player at Roosevelt High School, Heisman Trophy winner at USC, professional standout with the Kansas City Chiefs and currently athletic director at USC, grew up in Boyle Heights.