Steven L. Isoardi is an independent scholar; editor of
Warriors All: UGMA in the Middle of It
UGMA had been a presence in Watts before the upheaval of 1965, but it now found itself in the middle of one of the most dramatic urban convulsions in American history. In the aftermath of the summer uprising UGMA was at the center of activity on 103rd Street, as Watts became the Association's main focus. The cultural resurgence and growing politicization of the community were important turning points, reinforcing UGMA's purpose but also presenting it with more tasks, more members, and a growing circle of supporters, whose social consciousness and, in some cases, sense of self were being transformed by the times. Much of this would be expressed in the Association's music, particularly the first recording sessions (1968–1969), which codified their work in the 1960s of preserving the African American heritage, pushing the boundaries of that music, and reflecting the concerns and issues of their community.