Academic histories have focused on urban centers, overshadowing neighboring towns and agricultural areas as if they didn’t matter. The formal archives that house the records of (white) leaders obscure the experiences and perspectives of migrant workers, communities of color, and others in places such as Southern California’s Inland Empire, which are important to arriving at a fuller historical understanding. The author identifies as “Rebel Archives” sources created by those overlooked by mainstream accounts, including family photo albums, school records, popular media, oral histories, and “counter-mapping.” Analysis of such diverse sources can reveal patterns that cause us to ask questions and rethink history. The article concludes with several noteworthy projects of “subversive history” that are uncovering an enriched history of the Inland Empire.

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