Alva Moore Stevenson, a native Angeleno, is a historian, oral historian, and writer. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Masters in African American Studies with a concentration in Latin American Studies. For the last thirty-six years, Alva has held positions in the UCLA Library, twenty-five of those in the Center for Oral History Research. Alva is Program Coordinator in Library Special Collections.
Alva’s career in the Library, in various capacities, has involved documenting the history of African Americans in Los Angeles resulting in the exhibit, Forming and Transforming the City: African Americans in Los Angeles of which she was Curator. Alva’s Master’s thesis, Afro Mexican Racial and Ethnic Self-Identity: Three Generations of the Thornton Family in Nogales, Arizona was based upon her research into the genealogy of her mother’s family.
In her thesis situates her family history within the larger history of Blacks in Mexico, Afro Mexicans who migrated north into the U.S. and African Americans who migrated southward into Mexico. Eager to share this knowledge, Alva gives frequent presentations on-campus, at academic conferences, other colleges and universities and to community groups. In 2013 Alva was Guest Editor of a special issue of the Journal of Pan-African Studies entitled, Africans in Mexico: History, Race and Place.