During the World War II, Japanese American’s were forced out of “Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. They were forced to relocate to interment camps. The areas were later renamed “Bronzeville” when African American families moved into the empty houses and businesses some looking to secure a war industry jobs.
During early June 1943, white U.S. servicemen rampaged the streets of Los Angeles in what was called the “Zoot Suit” riots. The violence spread into the Little Tokyo and Central Avenue areas, where African Americans were also victimized.
By 1944, the county health department estimated that over 80,000 residents were living in Bronzeville. When World War ll came to an end in the summer of 1945 Japanese Americans returned to Little Tokyo. African Americans moved a few blocks south and east.
Bronzeville and nearby Central Avenue had an active nightlife. War workers, had good income and often patronized various nightclubs, called “breakfast clubs.” which earned the name because they stayed open all night until breakfast time. Among the best known Bronzeville breakfast club was Shepp’s Playhouse.