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Before long, I uncovered a wealth of intriguing sources, especially at San Francisco’s California Historical Society archive, which provided the basis for my research. Black, Brown, Yellow and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles. Collection hereafter titled, “Records.”  “Come Hear Jim Jones’ Divine Message,” flyer, CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 1/F 5.  Jim Jones, Address about Temple inclusion in Congressional Record, Q 233 transcript, 1973.  “Jim Jones in San Francisco,” flyer, CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 1/F 5.  Julie Smith, “The Unusual Leader.”  “Racial Prejudice: Rooted in Our Language,” Peoples Forum 1, no.  Jim Jones, San Francisco sermon, Q 1059 (Part 3) transcript, 19.  Church stationary, 1978, CHS, Records, B 11/F 167.
While I was at first overwhelmed by the vast amount of Peoples Temple information at the Historical Society, as well as all of the topics other scholars had previously researched, my own Jim Jones story began to unfold.  Peoples Forum 1 and 2 (19), CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 1/F 13.  Jim Jones, Political and Religious Lecture, Q 952 transcript, 15 October 1974.  “Peoples Temple-Two Years Later,” Sun Reporter, 30 August 1975, 26, CHS, Newspaper Clippings, F 2.
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As a third-year history major at UC Berkeley this past year, I took a semester-long seminar entitled “‘Race’ and Racism in the United States in Comparative Perspective.” When my professor, Dr. Collection hereafter titled, “Newspaper Clippings.”  “Meet a Minority Group: The (Rev.) Jones Family: Cleric to Guard Human Rights,” Indianapolis Times, 24 February 1961, CHS, Newspaper Clippings, F 1. others see him,” pamphlet, 1973, CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 1 /F 5.  Julie Smith, “The Unusual Leader.”  Mike Williams, “Redwood Valley has unique ‘working’ church group,” Ukiah Daily Journal, 3 July 1969, CHS, Newspaper Clippings, F 1. 4 (May 1976), 1, CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 2/F 13.  Jim Jones, two sermons, Q Q 1059 (Part 2) transcript, 12 June 1972.
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Since I am especially interested in contemporary San Francisco history, I began looking into Jim Jones’ San Francisco-based Peoples Temple. “The Church in Peoples Temple.” In Peoples Temple and Black Religion in America, eds. 11 (October 1976), CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 2/F 13. Prokes, business card, CHS, Peoples Temple Records 1941-83, B 2/F 34. Harrison, “Jim Jones and Black Worship Traditions” in Peoples Temple and Black Religion, 132. 9 (September 1976): 1, CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 2/F 13.  Marshall Kilduff, “Changing Image of Temple’s Founder,” San Francisco Chronicle, 20 November 1978, 2.
Scholars have mostly studied Peoples Temple in terms of who joined Jones’ cause and why, in addition to what type of institution the Temple was. Sawyer argues that Temple blacks ranged in economic backgrounds, some previously religious (and possibly even retaining those affiliations), and blacks joined with family or as individuals. Arguments also vary regarding why black members joined.
Sawyer notes the inadequacy of other local churches, Tanya Hollis explains Peoples Temple’s attempt to offer economic solutions, and more broadly, some scholars believe the Temple was seen as an alternative to urban racism. In addition, Rebecca Moore calls Peoples Temple a “black religious group,” whereas Lincoln and Mayima say Jones led a political and religious “cult.” This paper, however, will delve into how Jones’ Peoples Temple separately portrayed itself both as an interracial and as a black institution, and specifically the political results of this duality.
Therefore, I will likely expand my Peoples Temple research into my senior thesis during Spring 2009. “Demographics and the Black Religious Culture of Peoples Temple.” In Peoples Temple and Black Religion in America, eds. 13 (December 1976): 2, CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 2/F 14. 14 (January 1977): 4, CHS, Ephemera and Publications, B 2/F 14. [31 Susan Smith, “Crowds protest pending hotel tenant evictions,” The Daily Californian, 17 January 1977, CHS, Newspaper Clippings, F 3.  “Letters Publicized: Big Names Backed Jones,” San Francisco Chronicle, 21 November 1978, 5.
You can reach me at With messages like these, Jones, a white pastor, along with an estimated two-thirds white leadership, cultivated an “80 to 90 percent black” congregation at his San Francisco Peoples Temple. The Temple’s infamous downfall came on November 18, 1978, when amid allegations of church abuse and corruption, around 900 of Reverend Jim Jones’ followers committed suicide at the church’s settlement, “Jonestown,” in Guyana. Jones founded the church in the 1950s in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2004.  George Moscone to Jim Jones, 4 April 1976, CHS, Records, B 2/F 34. Jim Jones to Housing Commission,” Peoples Forum 1, no.