Mentis Carrere was a black activist who is best known for heroic defense of his home against a white angry mob in 1926. Carrere had moved to Los Angeles to work as a painter and lived in a neighborhood that used to be all-white.
Carrere, born in Louisiana in 1891, worked as an activist who preached economic self-reliance for African-American communities. He also wrote two novels about black life in Louisiana: Men in the Cane and It’s All South: The True Story, in Novel Form, of a Family’s Struggle to Live Where it Desired.
During the 1920s, Carrere decided to purchase a home in a previously all-white Green Meadows neighborhood in the western half of South Los Angeles. In 1926, the Southwest Chamber of Commerce organized a local campaign to try to drive Carrere away from the neighborhood. White mobs gathered in front of his residence to intimidate him and his family by throwing bricks at his home.
With no guaranteed protection from the police, Carrere armed himself with several guns. He also recruited several armed supporters who moved into his home to counter the white mobs. His supporters occasionally shot their guns into the air to disperse the crowds. No one was injured.
Several years after the incident, Carrere worked for the Oakley Paint Company. From the 1940s through the 1960s, he served as a technical director for the Sinclair Paint Company in Los Angeles. Carrere died at the age of 98 in 1989.