Demographics of Los Angeles
White Black Native American Asian Hispanic
Total Population 48.07% 9.09% 0.05% 10.6% 48.4%
FACTS ABOUT LOS ANGELES
1.Los Angeles is the largest city in the state of California and the second largest in the United States. According to the U.S. census bureau the population was 3,694,820.
2.Often known by its initials, L.A., and nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a world center of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology, and education.
3.It is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields, and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States.
4. Los Angeles enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.
5.A testament to its preeminence in film, the city plays host to the annual Academy Awards, the oldest and one of the most prominent award ceremonies in the world.
6.According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the city is home to 26,000 gang members, organized into 250 gangs. Among them are the Crips, Bloods, Hoovers, Sureños, Maravilla, 18th Street, Mara Salvatrucha, and Asian street gangs. This has led to the city being referred to as the "Gang Capital of America".
KKJZ 88.1 FM Long Beach, CA - Long Beach Jazz
KDAY 93.5 FM Redondo Beach, CA Hip Hop
KDEY 93.5 FM Ontario, CA Hip Hop
KTWV 94.7 FM Los Angeles, CA Smooth Jazz
KAMP 97.1 FM Los Angeles, CA Top-40
KJLH 102.3 FM Compton, CA Urban Contemporary
KIIS 102.7 FM Los Angeles, CA Top-40
KPWR 105.9 FM Los Angeles, CA Hip Hop
KLAC 570 AM Los Angeles, CA Sports
KABC 790 AM Los Angeles, CA News/Talk
KTYM1460AM Inglewood, CAGospelMusic
A Touch of History
In 1781, 44 settlers founded Los Angeles as an outpost in Spanish-held California. Their group included 26 people of African descent.
Bethel A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles - (visit website)
Bryant Temple A.M.E. Church - 2525 W. Vernon Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90008 (323) 293-6201
Emmanuel East AME Church - 5200 South Compton Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90011 (323) 232-6300
Emmanuel West AME Church - Furama Hotel, 8601 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca 90045 (323) 730-7750
First African Methodist Episcopal Church - 2270 South Harvard Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018 (323) 730-7750
Grant AME Church - 10435 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles "Watts" California 90002 (323) 564-1151
Second African Methodist Episcopal Church - 5500 South Hoover Street in Los Angeles California (323) 753-2451
Sweet Home Baptist Church - 8800 Bandera St, Los Angeles, CA 90002 (323) 583-5990
Unity Fellowship Church Movement - (visit website)
Ward AME Church - 1177 West 25th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007 (213) 747-1367
West Angeles Church of God in Christ - 3600 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016 (323) 733-8300
1. Acme Comedy Theatre - Categories: Comedy Club - 135 N La Brea Ave - Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323)525-0202.
2.A.D. - 836 North Highland, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 467-3000
3.Babe's & Ricky's Inn - Categories: Jazz & Blues - 4339 Leimert Blvd - Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 295-9112
4.Club 740 - 740 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, California - (213) 225-5934.
5.Comedy Union - Categories: Comedy Club - 5040 W Pico Blvd - Los Angeles, CA 90019 (323) 934-930
6.Garrett Morris' Downtown Comedy Club - Categories: Comedy Club - 501 S. Spring St. - Los Angeles, CA 501 S. Spring St. (310) 722-5612.
7.Good Hurt - 12249 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, California - (310) 390-1076.
8.Industry Cafe & Jazz - 6039 Washington Blvd in Culver City - Los Angeles California 90232 (310) 202-6633.
9.Ivar - Categories: Dance Clubs - 1643 Ivar Ave. - Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 465-4827.
10.J & J Soulful Steps - Categories: Dance Clubs - 2270 S Harvard Blvd - Los Angeles, CA 90056 (310) 629-209.
11.Jewel's Catch One - 4067 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, California (323) 734-8849.
12.Jimmy's Lounge - Categories: Bars - 6202 Santa Monica Blvd - Los Angeles, CA 90038 (323) 957- 1066.
13.J Spot Comedy Club - Categories: Comedy Club - 5581 W. Manchester Ave - Los Angeles, CA 90045 (323) 337-1115.
14.Level One Supper Club - 6311 Wilshire Boulvard - Los Angeles, CA 90048 (323) 655-4444.
15.Medusa Lounge - Categories: Nightlife, Restaurants - 3211 Beverly Blvd - Los Angeles, CA 90057 (213)382-5723.
16.Michael Colyar (The Real Michael Colyar) - My entertainment business provides Comedy, MC'ing and Hosting for any type of event. This includes on any corporate level, Private events, Public Festivals, schools, Churches and even Speaking engagements. Categories: Comedy - 7401 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Suite 227 - Los Angeles, CA (323) 451-339.
17.Mood - Categories: Dance Clubs, Lounges - 6623 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 464-6663.
18.Reggae on Sunset - 8210 Sunset Blvd - Los Angeles, CA 90046 (310) 709-4733.
19.Stilettoe Productions - Categories: Concerts - CHRIS BROWN X TOUR LIVE - JUNE 14TH 2015 BILOXI COLISEUM 10600 Wilshire Blvd - Los Angeles, CA (323) 380-0911.
20.The Edison - Categories: Smooth Jazz - 108 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 613-0000.
21.The Improv - Categories: Comedy Clubs - 8162 Melrose Avenue - Los Angeles, CA 90046 (323) 651- 2583
22.Rosen Music Studio - Categories: Karaoke - 3488 W 8th St - Los Angeles, CA 90005 (213) 387-0469
23.Shag - Categories: Dance Clubs, Restaurants - 1835 N Cahuenga, Los Angeles, CA 90189 (323) 650-2000
1. Annual Economic Awards Dinner - Los Angeles, CA - Event held in March - For more information email :
2.Ebony Repertory Theatre - 4718 West Washington Boulevard - Los Angeles, CA 90016 - Event held in January - For more information email :
3.Juneteenth Celebration - Los Angeles, CA - Event held in June - (visit website)
4.Sigma - Zeta Council Founder's Day Celebration - 11301 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles,CA 90064 - (323) 630-4019 - Event held in January – Email
AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE
CALIFORNIA AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
The California African American Museum (CAAM) is a museum located in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, California, United States. The Museum focuses on enrichment and education on the cultural heritage and history of African Americans with a focus on California and western United States. Admission is free to all visitors.
Their mission statement is " To research, collect, preserve, and interpret for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on California and the western United States.
CAAM hosts independent and collaborative educational programs both on and off site of lectures, workshops, innovative programs, and hands-on activities that serve public and private school students, museum patrons and community visitors.
Address: 600 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037
Phone: (213) 744-7432
Though small in number, black leaders formed the Los Angeles Forum to help newcomers deal with new housing covenants that restricted access to parts of town and local Klu Klux Klan activity. African Americans also entered politics. Frederick Roberts became the first African American in the California State Assembly, serving from 1919 to 1933. Though Jewish Americans faced significant discrimination in America, it was notably reduced in Los Angeles because Jewish entrepreneurs pioneered Hollywood movie studios. As Hollywood grew from hundreds of employees in the 1910s, to thousands of employees by the 1920s and most movie stars being Jewish, it produced clout that kept doors open for Jewish Americans.
As housing discrimination for people of color took root, African Americans created a business district along Central Avenue. In the 1930s-40s, jazz thrived there. Artists and movie stars such as Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Dexter Gordon could be found playing at the Dunbar Hotel on Central Avenue.
When world War II began on 7 December 1941, military discrimination restricted the number of African-American, Hispanic-American, Native-Americans and Asian-Americans who could join, limited the positions they could serve (Cook or Valet was common) and segregated their units in the military. By default, such discrimination required a larger percentage of European-American males to serve in forward theaters of battle.Such exclusion permitted people of color and European-American females to flourish in the munitions and aircraft manufacturing plants of Los Angeles. Since these jobs paid more than typical government jobs, they became the middle class foundation of black Angelenos.
Lula Washington Dance Theatre
In 1980, Lula Washington founded this theatre group specializing in a challenging and creative blend of African, modern and ballet repertory; she has produced nationally respected works such as The Little Light, Gospel Christmas and Circle of Dance; the annual Gospel Kwanzaa performance will have you cheering! The theatre also features a delightful Youth Dance Ensemble helps inner city youths gain performance experience and confidence.
ADMISSION: Event-based; check website for venue
DAYS & HOURS: By appt or special event
ADDRESS: 3773 South Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: On street
A Touch of History Continued
In 1781, 44 settlers founded Los Angeles as an outpost in Spanish-held California. Their group included 26 people of African descent. Before and after the United States took control of California in 1840, people of African descent were treated as citizens. That moderate racial climate made Los Angeles attractive to fugitive slaves. But since jobs were scarce, African Americans like most others, were mostly transient. As a result, black population remained small in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles’ first Black newspaper, California Eagle, carried across the country by train porters, encouraged African Americans to move here for a better life. Hearing the call between 1870 and 1910, African American population grew from 100 to 7,500. During this time, Biddy Mason, founder of the first surviving African American church in Los Angeles, landowner and prosperous businesswoman, made her famous cross-country journey to Los Angeles. White segregationists from the South also came. The escalated and groomed discriminatory practices among the white population at large, to view people of color as 2nd class citizens. Also remember that no American woman could vote until 1922.
Los Angeles History
At this point, lets reflect upon Jackie Robinson and his brother Mack, raised in nearby Pasadena. Jackie attended Pasadena Junior College before attending UCLA for three years. Mack also received a college degree, but was underemployed due to racial discrimination. Scholarly Jackie also earned 24 letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. In football, he gained 12 yards a carry and led the nation in punt returns in 1939. In basketball, he led the Pacific Coast League in scoring two years and was league MVP.
Jackie played baseball for the Honolulu Bears in 1941 and served in the military during World War II as a college-degreed officer. In 1945, he played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro National League with teammate Satchel Paige. It was widely rumored in Negro League Baseball that Major League Baseball would start its own Negro League as a precursor to integrated baseball years down the road. Established Negro League stars thought bigger paydays were imminent.
In a surprise move the Brooklyn Dodgers owner, Branch Rickey, signed Jackie to a contract in late 1945. Only Jackie had the perfect combination of a college education to avoid “Dumb N_____” sleights, the great talent and calm temperament to break the color barrier in such a way that more Negro League players could follow. Since Canada never had the same degree of race problems as America, Jackie was first sent to the Dodgers’ Montreal Royals farm team, where he shifted from Shortstop to Second Baseman in preparation for Major League Baseball.
In 1946, Jackie married Rachel Issum and played in the Dodgers’ Daytona Beach farm team. In 1947, he finally entered Major League Baseball as a Dodger and won the Rookie of the Year Award. Jackie also won the National League MVP Award in 1949.In his Hall of Fame career as a Brooklyn Dodger (1947-1956), Jackie batted .311, hit 137 home runs, had 734 runs batted in and stole 197 bases, including home plate several times. He helped the Dodgers win 6 National League pennants and in 1955, a world championship. Though Joe Louis was the first black man loved by all races in America. But Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) was the first black man to demonstrate that he could helped make white teammates champions.
Before Jackie Robinson died, his success on the field and vocal eloquence off the field help European Americans get comfortable hiring African Americans into interracial teamwork environments. He retired just before the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957. The City of Pasadena has a monument to Jackie & Mack Robinson in front of its city hall.
Biddy Mason Memorial
Jackie & Mack Robinson Monument, Pasadena
After World War II ended in 1945, job discrimination in aircraft plants resumed and housing discrimination amplified. It was so restrictive that by 1955, only Nat King Cole, who had a national TV show and was the biggest black celebrity of his era, was permitted to live in Hancock Park. Other people of color were not permitted to live or socialize west of Western Avenue. Other than dayworkers, butlers, chauffeurs and hotel workers, only the biggest Black and Latino stars like Hattie McDaniel, Nat King Cole, Anthony Quinn, Sammy Davis Jr, Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, Rita Moreno, Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Katy Jurado and Harry Belefonte would be seen at movie studios and lounges on the Sunset Strip.
By 1960, African American population swelled to 450,000 and one prominent black architect, Paul R. Williams, gave the Beverly Hills Hotel its signature pink & green color and designed one of its best meeting areas. Such progress was deceptive however. As government reports would later prove, Los Angeles never job and housing discrimination the excluded African Americans from equal opportunity, nor did local officials address the rampant police profiling and brutality.
Though African Americans escaped the extreme Southern brand of racial bigotry, in many ways it was worse for them. Many defense workers bought middleclass homes during WWII and the Korean War, but their children encountered oppressive job and housing discrimination, frequent police brutality. That stirred up vast resentment and pent up economic despair. Then in 1965, Watts District exploded when a police brutality event lit the fuse. As the first major riot during the modern Civil Rights Movement, it sparked national studies and caused many Americans of all stripes to reexamine the pace of racial progress.
In that political climate, a retired police officer and city councilman, Tom Bradley, became the first African American mayor of Los Angeles in 1973 and several African Americans from California were elected to Congress.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Bradley opened city employment and contracts. Other public and private sector service jobs opened as well. Housing discrimination was greatly reduced. Bradley pushed for the building of the multi-million dollar Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Mall. During his 20-year administration, Mayor Bradley oversaw an economic boom in the region. Despite noble efforts, economic prosperity in the form of blue-collar manufacturing jobs fled South and East LA. Much of the black middleclass, no longer constrained by housing discrimination and fed up with gang activity, moved to suburban communities like Long Beach, Carson, Pasadena, Moreno Valley and Riverside. But South-Central and parts of East Los Angeles became islands of economic depression. And under police chief Parker and the blue wall of silence, police brutality continued unabated.
Cultural Sites of Los Angeles
Debbie Allen Dance Academy
In 2001, Debbie Allen, the actor-director of the Fame TV series, open this dance academy to committed to expand the reach of dance and theater arts for young people in the greater Los Angeles, inspiring and transforming their lives; in 2012, the academy moved to Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza; you can find DADA Alumni on Broadway, Film and Television as choreographers, dancers and creators; many popular classes for different age groups are featured.
ADMISSION: Event-based; check website for venue
DAYS & HOURS: Check website calendar
ADDRESS: 3791 Santa Rosalia Drive, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: Parking garage in plaza
Rave Motion Pictures Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw
DESCRIPTION: Best place to experience Black audience interaction with a movie; Magic Johnson Theater chain started here in 1996; in 2010, Magic sold his interest in his movie chain to Rave Theaters who renovated and reopened it in 2011; the upscale 15-screen cineplex features major films, but is revered for its Pan-African Film Festival during Black History Month; comfortable stadium seating and digital sound systems make this a pleasant choice for movie-going.
Vintage Hollywood Museum
Black Hollywood history museum that is popular for special events; the curator, Leroy Richardson III has written a book called Black Hollywood Tragedies; don’t miss your opportunity to visit.
ADMISSION: Varies by event
DAYS & HOURS: Special events only
ADDRESS: 4000 W. Washington Avenue, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: On street
William Grant Still Arts Center
DESCRIPTION: Housed in a small but comfortable bungalow, these dolls will steal your heart and tickle your imagination; don’t miss the Black Dolls exhibit every December; doll making classes; the arts center’s namesake is a former symphony composer; the center also features changing and challenging exhibitions from the community.
ADMISSION: Donations appreciated
DAYS & HOURS: Daily Noon-5p
ADDRESS: 2520 West View Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: On street
Blackstreet USA Puppet Theatre
Performing workshop of puppetmaster Gary Jones and the internationally known Yuppets (Young Urban Professional Puppets); there are different shows for children 5-12, and for adults; call for a performance or why not sponsor a Yuppets performance.
Ebony Repertory Theatre
Founded in 2007, ERT is the Resident Company of the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, under the leadership of Founder-Producer Wren T. Brown; develops and presents professional theatre rooted in the African Diaspora experience; plays like Two Trains Running and Crowns are frequent.
Dorothy Dandridge Sculpture
Dorothy is immortalized as one of 4 famous movie starlets representing four races; all are connected at the top in a life-size silver color sculpture; unfortunately the sculptor makes it difficult to discern who is who — Dandridge’s likeness faces northeast; Dandridge was the first African-American nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carmen Jones in the 1954 movie (Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win best Supporting Actress in the 1939 movie Gone With The Wind).
ADDRESS: Hollywood Blvd at La Brea Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: On street and garage nearby
DESCRIPTION: Ignore the name, they only have enough size for very small concerts; but the vibe is a cool hangout for poets, jazz musicians and visual artists.
DESCRIPTION: This restored 1930s landmark tower and 1123-seat theatre is used intermittently for black theatre, major speaking events, and in the movie A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.
Tavis Smiley Headquarters
DESCRIPTION: The unflappable Tavis Smiley established headquarters in this architecturally distinctive 6,000 square foot office building; although he has radio broadcast studio on premises, most of his shows are conducted elsewhere in LA.
African American Cultural Center
DESCRIPTION: Organization Us preserves and promotes a dignified African American culture without being stuffy; Dr Maulana Karenga, the founder of Us and father of the 7 principles of Kwanzaa, often leads Wednesday, Friday & Sunday forums on historic and current issues concerning Africentric art, philosophy and literature; Saturday school programs children; lots of special events throughout the year.
Watts Towers and Art Center
DESCRIPTION: A folk art landmark built by Simon Rodia, a European immigrant, from discarded objects and flotsam between 1921 and 1954; when finished, he deeded this property to a neighbor and moved from LA; the Black community has come to embrace these towers and art center; the center features a thriving eclectic mix of art exhibits, performing arts and classes that include ceramics, animation, printmaking, drumming, photography, assemblage, comic books, and graphic design.
Watts Museum of Art, History & Culture
DESCRIPTION: Photo exhibits of historic Watts; walk back in time to the 1930s Watts, Black Panthers LA and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr exhibits; a stunning statue of Black Goddess is the signature courtyard element; Bones & Blues, a blues and dominoes venue, hosted the last Friday night of each month; the International Marketplace features collection of gift shops in a small complex; staffed by the Watts Labor Community Action Committee
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 10950 South Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: On street
Mayme Clayton Library and Museum
Founded in 1976 by Mayme Agnew Clayton, PhD (1923 – 2006) and formerly called the “Western States Black Research Center”, the MLCM is already the largest black historical artifact collection on the west coast with over 25,000 books (many are rare), historic Black films and 8000 historical records, some of which date to 1902 — even features Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith’s earliest vinyl recordings; the library and museum is transforming a civil courts facility into (1st phase) 24,000 square foot facility that makes the Mayme A Clayton Collection and other contributions from the Civil Rights Movement, Movie, and Music industries available to the public for vital educational, artistic and entertaining programming; the result of this transformation will be the 5th certified African American Research Center in America and include the Courtroom Theater and the vintage movie poster gallery.
KJLH Radio Station
The city’s oldest Black-oriented radio station is owned by that musical genius, Stevie Wonder; 102.3 FM on your dial and number 1 in Old and New School R&B plus Sunday Gospel and community news; Stevie drops by once in awhile; the original KJLH site was on Crenshaw Blvd
Jackie Robinson Center
18,000 square foot community center in the heart of Pasadena’s Northwest district; it features a small collection of Jack Roosevelt Robinson memorabilia; the center also coordinates the annual Black History Parade and Festival and Craft Bonanza Showcase.
LA 100 Black Men
ADDRESS: 3701 Stocker Street, #309
Jackie and Mack Robinson Monument
DESCRIPTION: Huge busts of the famous Robinson brothers who were Pasadena residents; Mack was a world class sprinter who finished second to Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics; Mack later broke Jesse’s sprint record.
ADDRESS: 100 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, CA MAP
Turning Point Magazine
Pat Means publishers the informative and inspiring bi-monthly magazine for Small Business Owners; produces a great annual African American Business Summit.
Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper
The oldest and largest Black-owned newspaper on the West Coast, publishes weekly on Thursdays
ADDRESS: 3800 Crenshaw Blvd
LA Watts Times Newspaper
A popular Black-oriented newspaper
The Wave Newspaper
Another popular Black-oriented newspaper
Urban League Los Angeles
ADDRESS: 3450 Mount Vernon Drive
ADDRESS: 3910 West Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd, Suite 202
LA Black Business Association
ADDRESS: 3756 Santa Rosalia Drive, #422
Community program and world report founded by Jim Brown
ADDRESS: 3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 2870
Los Angeles Beaches
DESCRIPTION: What a collection of humanity; the guy who juggles chain saws can often be spotted or is he keeping a low profile after an injury? Street artists, magicians, gift shops and outdoor diversions crowd every corner on weekends, making this a feast for the eyes; if you want to get active, buff out with the weights on Muscle Beach, everyone is welcome for a small fee; lifeguards are on duty during warm weather; test your playground basketball, tennis, rollerblading and biking skills; the Venice Boardwalk is also one of the safest public places in Los Angeles, despite the crazy street performer who juggles chain saws; nearby Abbot Kinney Blvd is named after the Venice founder who hired African Americans in his amusement company, which led to an early 20th century African American community presence here; park early or catch a beach shuttle on Venice Blvd up to the beach; best reached from Venice Blvd
Catalina Island, CA
Is this the island, Gilligan meant to arrive at? Relax on an island beach, wetsuit snorkeling and diving, kayak, volleyball, sightseeing, hiking, horseback riding, golfing, miniature golfing, tennis, and biking; adults enjoy the harborside breakfast, seafood and steak restaurants and gift shops; Descanso Beach is a must visit for families; the Wrigley chewing gum magnate built an estate overlooking the harbor, a country club and a memorial worth seeing, but the best man-made structure is the Avalon Casino — casino means “gathering place” and that’s all it is here, not a gambling casino; the Casino hosts a large jazz festival here every October.
ADMISSION: Free to enter; if you plan to stay overnight, consider booking a ferry and hotel package
DAYS & HOURS: High speed ferries leave daily; 1 hour 40 minute boat ride from Marina Del Rey or 1 hour 20 minutes from the ports of San Pedro or Long Beach
ADDRESS: Catalina Island MAP
Manhattan Beach & Hermosa Beach
DESCRIPTION: Side-by-side, there beaches offer a pleasant place to kick your feet in the surf, relax, picnic, play volleyball; a few children play stations are sprinkled along beaches to signify the family-oriented setting; at the foot of Manhattan Beach Blvd is the Manhattan Beach Pier for viewing and fishing over the Pacific Ocean; the seamless beaches are several miles long from the edge of El Segundo to Redondo Beach all-day parking costs $6 reach the beaches from El Segundo via Vista Del Mar, from Manhattan Beach Blvd going west, from Gould Ave going west off PCH and from Redondo Beach take 190th Street west
Santa Monica Beach
This beach is distinguished by its peer enabling more distant ocean views; a historic carousel, roller coaster, arcade, restaurants, knick-knack shops and coin-operated telescopes will occupy the kids for hours; you can always find people fishing, beach volleyball on one side, and swimmers on the other side of the pier; but be careful with the waves if you have visions of getting in the water; very popular during warm months at the foot of Santa Monica Blvd
Los Pobladores Monument at El Pueblo Historic Park
DESCRIPTION: A bronze plaque memorializes the people who settled of Los Angeles in the early 1800s; under Spanish rule, the governor of Baja (lower) and Alta (upper) California recruited Pobladores (settlers) from northern Mexico to this site to raise food for soldiers in the nearby forts; the plaque indicates about half of the Pobladores were Negro or Mulatto (Negro and Spanish), with the majority of the remaining being Indian or Mestizo (Indian and Spanish); only two of the Pobladores were Spanish; plaza in front of Olivera Street.
ADDRESS: between Los Angeles and Main Streets, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: paid lots
Biddy Mason Park & Monument
DESCRIPTION: A quiet memorial to Biddy Mason; born a slave in Georgia; walked to California behind a wagon train; fought the court case which won freedom for herself and her daughters in 1856; as a midwife she became wealthy acquiring property throughout Downtown, sometimes in lieu of cash payment; founded First African Methodist Episcopal church in her home at 331 S Spring Street (replaced by an office bldg.); an astute businesswoman who also made sure the taxes and ministers were paid; she owned much of the land now part of the California Plaza skyscraper complex.
ADDRESS: bounded by Broadway, Spring, 3rd and 4th Streets, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises
DESCRIPTION: Extending from downtown to 100th street, this historic entertainment district rivaled the pulsating excitement of New York’s Harlem and Chicago’s Bronzeville from the 1920s thru 1950s; a national historic landmark, the Dunbar Hotel at 4225 Central built by Dr John Somerville in 1928, may have been the nation’s first hotel built for African Americans, it rivaled the Theresa Hotel in Harlem for distinctive guests; nationally famous Club Alabam’ was next door (now demolished); Lincoln Theater at Central and 23rd was the place for big band performances, including Duke Ellington’s band; countless jazz and blues bars like Babe & Rickey’s at 5259 Central (moved to Leimert Park) lined the avenue; when Fats Waller, Lena Horne, Nat “King” Cole, Fats Domino, BB King and Dizzy Gillespie frequently rocked the house.
ADDRESS: Central Avenue from I-10 Freeway to I-105 Freeway, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
Maverick Flats Nightclub
DESCRIPTION: Many Soul music artists were discovered by record executives, established stars stopped by after their performances, and local DJs mixed it up with everybody when this was the spot in the 1970s and 80s.
ADDRESS: 4225 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on premises and street
LAX Theme Restaurant
DESCRIPTION: Supported by 4 giant prongs, the sci-fi architecture of this theme restaurant was co-designed by Black architect Paul Williams; it has the best public views of aircraft activity at LAX.
ADDRESS: 201 World Way, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PHONE: reservations 310-215-5151
Tom Bradley International Terminal
DESCRIPTION: Dedicated to the first African American mayor of Los Angeles; Tom Bradley served five consecutive 4-year terms beginning in 1970.
ADDRESS: 380 World Way, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: airport garage
Los Angeles Heritage Sites
Fire Station #30
DESCRIPTION: Restored and rededicated to honor African Americans who served as Los Angeles fireman since 1897; this station housed the first segregated unit of African American firemen from 1904-1954 when racism sometimes blazed higher than the fires; a retired Fireman who served at the station, Arnett Hartsfield, is the museum historian and was instrumental in its re-dedication to museum status; the two story building features Medals of Valor, a horse driven fire truck, fire hats, vintage photos since the station began and other artifacts.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue & Thu 10a-2p
ADDRESS: 1401 Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
Sugar Hill District
DESCRIPTION: Just north of FAME Church, were the homes of several of the earliest African American movie stars, including Hattie McDaniel and Ethel Waters; in the 1950s, the I-10 Freeway bisected the district, ending its heyday; FAME Church purchased one of these distinguished buildings just across from the street and renamed in the Richard Allen House, in honor of the founder of the AME Church.
ADDRESS: 2200 block South Harvard Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building
DESCRIPTION: one of the largest Insurance Companies in America; an art gallery chronicles historical achievements by the founders as you enter
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 1999 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
Marvin Gaye Residence
DESCRIPTION: Marvin used to walk around the neighborhood and mingle; a little known fact, Barry Gordy, owner of Motown, convinced Marvin to add the “e” to his last name for commercial reasons; Marvin Gaye died on 1 April 1984 in this home; no visitors.
ADDRESS: 2101 South Gramercy Place, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
Nat King Cole Residence
DESCRIPTION: Nat broke the color barrier we he purchased this tudor-style home in distinguished Hancock Park in the 1950s; NO visitors.
ADDRESS: 401 South Muirfield Road, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
Angeles Funeral Home
DESCRIPTION: Opened in the 1960s, it is one of architect Paul Williams’ most striking designs both inside and out
ADDRESS: 3875 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
Michael Jackson Residence
DESCRIPTION: Michael began renting this estate at $100,000/month in May 2009 until his untimely death on 25 June 2009; the gated estate with one side facing Sunset Blvd has a courtyard entrance, several wooded acres, a guest house, and a large swimming pool; NO visitors.
ADDRESS: 100 North Carolwood Drive, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: Monovale Drive and Ladera Drive
DESCRIPTION: Named in honor of Dr. Ralph Bunche, a three letter athlete who was graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA from UCLA in 1927, later earned an MA and Ph.D. from Harvard; Dr Bunche taught political science at Howard from 1928 to 1950 and Harvard from 1950 to 1952; he earned awards and distinctions the way many people wear jewelry — awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1949, 1st African American to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1950; Theodore Roosevelt Medal of Honor in 1954; 1st African American to become Under Secretary for the US State Dept; 1st African American to become an Under Secretary for the United Nations in 1958, Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963; this 11 story building for UCLA’s School of Social Science along with a bronze bust was dedicated to Dr. Bunche in 1968.
ADDRESS: UCLA Campus, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: though garages surround each entrance to the campus, more fee-based parking is usually available at the Sunset Blvd entrance
Jackson Family Residence
DESCRIPTION: Berry Gordy bought this residence for the Jackson Family when he moved Motown from Detroit to Los Angeles; for understandable reasons of privacy, the estate is gated and secured; only invited guests by the family are permitted.
ADDRESS: 4641 Hayvenhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: Free street parking on Hayvenhurst, but read parking signs