What Any Other White man would Do?
On October 21, 1921, a standing room only meeting was held at Glendale City Hall to discuss a situation deemed a neighborhood threat: an African American man trying to rent an affordable home from his employer.
Albert G. Spohr, a local business owner, had purchased a plot of land on which he intended to build a house for his employee—an unnamed Black man—and his wife. The community argued that if the man moved onto the street it would decrease property values in the entire neighborhood and ruin the “fair name of Glendale.”
At the meeting, the following resolution, offered by the Realty Board was adopted:
"Be It Resolved, that whereas the problem of accepting the colored race into the city of Glendale is a present one and, whereas the value of the real estate in the vicinity of colored residents will be greatly effected by their advent, and whereas the fair name of Glendale, and its attractive neighborhoods are jeopardized; some action be taken immediately to provide a proper zone for races other than the white or Caucasion"
The uproar caused Spohr to write a letter to the editor of the Glendale Daily News defending his decision and his position in the community. His main appeal to the masses was, “I believe any other white man would follow a similar course under the circumstances.”
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"House for Negro is Cause for Meeting this Evening." Glendale Daily Press, 21 Oct. 1921, p. 1. Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/cgl_001646/mode/2up?q=spohr.
"Race Question Discussed at Mass Meeting." Glendale Daily Press, 22 Oct. 1921, p. 1. Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/cgl_001647/mode/2up?q=spohr.
Sohmer, Theo. Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library. Tessa, https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/photos/id/106659/rec/1.
Spohr, A.G. "A. G. Spohr Makes Statement on Race Problem [Letter to the Editor]." Glendale
Daily Press, 24 Oct. 1921, p .2. Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/cgl_004516/page/n1/mode/1up?q=spohr.