WATTS, Calif. - Sweet Alice’s office in Watts is full of community history, including her favorite DVD player, which plays old videos of her community outreach events that she has been hosting for decades.
Born in the 1930’s, Alice created her nonprofit “Parents of Watts” in response to the riots in 1965. Her goal was to bring different cultures together, at a time when there was heightened tensions between Blacks and Latinos.
“We ain't but one. God made one. He didn’t make no two or three. He made one race, and all of us fit in that one race,” Sweet Alice said.
And she believes that from the bottom of her heart. Even though Sweet Alice was raised in an era where racism was even more common place, before the Civil Rights Movement, she says she never felt discrimination as a Black woman. She recalls positive exchanges with communities of all backgrounds.
“The Jewish people helped me. I never heard them say ‘black, n**ga, ne*ro,’ never. They always would call me Alice ... Alice,” she said.
Sweet Alice recognizes her experiences as a Black woman in America may not be the same as others in her community, but it is always Sweet Alice’s goal to make sure her Watts family feels loved and taken care of.
From bike give-aways to counseling services, generosity is second nature to this warm soul. “I love people. I was born to give, that’s my gift. I enjoy giving,” she said.
A quick tour of Sweet Alice’s office will provides a deep history of the 20th century. She has photos with nearly every living U.S. president. Alice has been advocating for her community for decades, and even at 86, she says she doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
“I can do and be anything I want to do and be as long as I got God on my side," she said.
And with a daily greeting to her neighbors, the kindness of Sweet Alice continues in Watts.