Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Celebrating Black History Month…All Month Long


February is Black History Month, and while we were looking around for events and celebrations to share with our readers, we found this excellent compilation by Laura Meyers and Rina Rubenstein of the West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA).  It highlights history, architectural preservation efforts and events appropriate to the month, all around the greater Los Angeles area (and beyond, via some non-local online events).  We couldn’t have done a better job, so with the authors’ permission we’re passing it along for you today. (Note that the article has been edited to remove several events that have already taken place.)


Here in West Adams, we are surrounded every day by the legacies of pioneering African Americans and the vivid presence of a vibrant and active Black community. We are also fortunate to live where African American architects left an indelible footprint.

Indeed, we are thrilled to tell you that one of West Adams’ most significant landmarks, architect Paul Revere Williams’ own family home from 1921 to 1952, located just west of USC at 1271 W. 35th Street and which was in danger of demolition not long ago, is now officially saved. Kudos to longtime WAHA members and supporters Curt Bouton and architect John Arnold, who have just purchased the house to restore. John and Curt are avid preservationists, and John is a partner with KFA Architecture, which will also help with the effort.



Preservation was never certain. In 2021, the family that had purchased the home from Paul Williams in the 1950s placed the property on the market, initially as a development site. But the Los Angeles Conservancy, in an effort also supported by WAHA, successfully nominated this modest home located just west of USC as a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument (HCM). One year ago, in February 2022, the City Council voted to designate the home as HCM No. 1253. But the house, long vacant, was becoming a shambles. So we are truly lucky that John and Curt have the vision, the desire, and the capability to meet the challenge.

“Curt and I were initially very hesitant to take on this project because the house is in such disrepair and needs so much work,” John notes. “Once we committed to doing it, it became obvious that it was the right thing to do. The house and its story are so important, it’s our community, and we’ve done it all before with our bungalow in Jefferson Park. Now we’re excited to get to know Paul Williams’ story of his life here, and to bring the house back to life.”

Thank you, John and Curt!

Read more about the Paul Revere Williams House here:


2023 Black History Month Events


Although, as Morgan Freeman said, Black history is part of American history, and should be taught as such all year round (and WAHA agrees!), many groups and organizations put a special emphasis on programs in February. Here are a few opportunities to learn, reflect, and enjoy!

For example, WAHA is giving a short talk and slide show on “African American Trailblazers in West Adams” at the monthly West Adams Avenues neighborhood association meeting on Wednesday, February 8. The meeting is virtual (on Zoom) and begins at 7 p.m., but the WAHA presentation will begin closer to 7:30.  Everyone is invited!

Join Zoom Meeting
OR Dial:  +1 669 900 6833 US
Meeting ID: 844 7862 7879
Passcode: 530516


Other Ways to Observe Black History Month:




Now through Feb. 18
Black Dolls at the William Grant Still Arts Center
The 42nd annual Black Doll Show highlights historic and contemporary collections, this year themed around “Fun & Games,” an exploration of ancestral games and how play can help us think deeper and archive histories. Free; open Tuesdays-Saturdays 12 noon – 5 pm. Call for info (323/734-1165).
WSG Arts Center, 2520 S. West View Ave.

Now through Feb. 19
Baseball Exhibition at the Central Library
The Los Angeles Public Library is proud to present “Barrier Breakers: From Jackie to Pumpsie, 1947-1959,” showcasing the history of the Negro Leagues and highlighting the obstacles of prejudice and social injustices the players had to endure – and how their ability to persevere through adversity led them to change the face of Major League Baseball.

Now through March 5, 2023
African Art at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Adornment | Artifact is a multi-venue art experience that celebrates ancient Nubia through contemporary art, events, and conversations. Housed at five sites across the city, the project investigates how contemporary artworks made in Los Angeles by LA-based artists engage and express the traditions, objects and materials that shaped the cultures of the Nile River Valley.

Now through March 5, 2023
USC: MLK in Los Angeles
The USC Fisher Museum of Art celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life through never before seen historic images, audio and video recordings that chronicle Dr. King’s visits in South LA and USC from the mid-1950’s until his assassination in 1968. The exhibition reveals how important Dr. King’s work on the West Coast was during the civil rights movement.
Tuesday – Friday: 12 noon – 5pm; Saturdays 12 noon – 4 pm.

Now through April 30
Museum of African American Art: From the HeArt: A Solo Exhibition by “Aiseborn”
MAAALA, located in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (within the Macy’s space) for almost forty years, presents a solo show by Inglewood-born contemporary painter and muralist Aiseborn. Visit by appointment only.
4005 Crenshaw, 3rd Floor


In-person events, more or less local, in date order


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 12 noon
USC Annenberg: “Voices of a Movement” premiere and Q&A
Join the USC Charlotta Bass Journalism & Justice Lab for a screening and conversation with Lora King, daughter of Rodney King, premiering King’s virtual interview which provides an eye-witness account of the immediate aftermath of her father’s brutal police assault, his impact on the world, and how she’s carrying on his legacy. Free with RSVP.

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 7 pm
USC Visions & Voices: Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance
Enjoy a screening and discussion of “Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance,” a feature-length documentary celebrating the history, lineage, and future of jazz dance. With a stellar cast of leading industry experts, award-winning choreographers, and legendary performers, the groundbreaking film revisits the dance form’s roots in Africa and follows its evolution through every decade and genre, telling a story of triumph over adversity, oppression, and privilege. Free with RSVP.

Thursday, Feb. 9 – Monday, Feb. 20
Pan-African Film Festival at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills
PAFF returns for its 31st festival, with dozens of feature films and even more shorts, plus special programming – free all-day ArtFest at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, free family days with screenings and activities(Feb. 11 & 18), spoken word, and more.
Cinemark Baldwin Hills, 4020 Marlton Ave. Various prices; advance tickets recommended.

Friday, Feb. 10, 7 – 10 pm
California African American Museum: Open House
Join KCRW and CAAM for a free evening of music, art, and good vibes. Groove to the sounds of KCRW DJs Francesca Harding and Tyler Boudreaux amidst the joyous burst of colors and concepts in CAAM’s special exhibition, “Adee Roberson and Azikiwe Mohammed: because i am that.” Pop into the beer garden, grab some bites from favorite local food trucks, and chat with the KCRW Street Team. Free with RSVP.
CAAM, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park

Monday, Feb. 13, 7 pm
Black Hollywood at Malik Books
Malik Books presents a conversation with photographer Carell Augustus, author of “Black Hollywood: Reimagining Iconic Movie Moments.” The new book is a “who’s who” of Black entertainers featured in iconic cinematic scenes, renewing readers’ appreciation of the past while asking questions about representation in media and inspiring artists of the future. Free; RSVP to pre-order book for signing.
Malik Books, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7 pm
Eboni K. Williams at Malik Books
In her new book “Bet on Black: The Good News About Being Black in America Today,” the journalist, attorney, and reality TV star reshapes the cultural landscape of achievement by showing why Black unity is crucial to individual and collective success.
Malik Books, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7:30 pm
USC Visions & Voices: An Untitled Love – An Evening of Dance
Contemporary dance company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham presents An Untitled Love. Drawing from the catalogue of GRAMMY Award–winning R&B legend D’Angelo, the creative exaltation pays homage to the complexities of self-love and Black love, while serving as a thumping mixtape celebrating culture, family, and community. Free with RSVP.

Friday, Feb. 17 – Sunday, Feb. 26, various days and hours
Lula Washington Dance Theatre: “The Turning Of The Soul”
LWDT celebrates Black History Month with an evening of modern dance, with music by, and tributes to, Pharoah Sanders, Nina Simone, Donald Byrd, and William Grant Still. $20 – $30 (advance tickets req’d)
Lula Washington Dance Theatre, 3773 Crenshaw Blvd.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 8 pm
Ebony Repertory Theatre: A Celebration of Black History
The historic Ebony Theatre presents the second part of a two-part, intimate conversation about the important role of black theatre in America with William Allen Young and Wren T. Brown. Free with RSVP.
Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington

Sunday, Feb. 19, 11 am – 6 pm
Festival at Obama Park
The 6th Annual Black History Month festival focuses on Health & Wellness and on Literature, with speakers, a forum, info booths, and more, examining topics that affect the mind and body within the African American communities today. Free.
Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Complex, 5001 Obama Blvd.

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2 pm
Lecture at the Central Library: Architect Paul Williams
The Los Angeles City Historical Society and LAPL present Stephen Gee introducing the book “Paul R. Williams,” co-authored with Marc Appleton and Bret Parsons. Paul Revere Williams’s inspirational story has fascinated historians for the simple fact that his journey was so improbable. The orphan son of an African-American fruit-and-vegetable merchant, he was repeatedly told he had no chance of ever realizing his childhood dream of becoming an architect. And yet, he ignored the naysayers to reach the pinnacle of his chosen profession, while overcoming widespread discrimination throughout early-to-mid-twentieth century America. Free; no RSVP required; parking $1 with validation.

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 at 6 pm pm
USC Visions & Voices: An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones
Join a conversation with the Pulitzer Prize–winning creator of the 1619 Project, which illuminates the legacy of slavery in the contemporary United States and highlights the contributions of Black Americans to every aspect of American society. Free with RSVP.




African American Firefighter Museum
1401 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles
Close to home: The African American Firefighter Museum (AAFFM) opened in 1997 and is located at historic Fire Station #30, one of two segregated firehouses in Los Angeles between 1924 and 1955. It is recognized as the “only free-standing African American Firefighter Museum in the United States.” Families can view vintage fire apparatus, photos, artifacts, and much more. Open Sundays (only), 1 pm – 4 pm, or take a virtual tour on their website.

California African American Museum (CAAM)
Founded in 1977, CAAM’s creation was an early and tangible recognition by the State of California of the critically important role African Americans have played in the American West’s cultural, economic, and political development. Today, CAAM sits among the many major institutions transforming Exposition Park, including the California Science Center, the Natural History Museum, and the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Along with mounting numerous exhibitions, CAAM houses a permanent collection of 5,000 objects that span landscape painting and portraiture, modern and contemporary art, historical objects and print materials, and mixed-media artworks. Though the collection emphasizes objects pertinent to California and the American West, it also houses a growing collection of artworks from the African diaspora as well as important works by African Americans from across the United States.

Located is at the corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard, just west of the 110 Freeway; the parking lot entrance is at 39th and Figueroa Streets.

The Museum of African American Art (MAAA)
MAAA was founded in 1976 by noted artist, art historian, author, and educator Dr. Samella Lewis. Since the early 1980s, the museum has been located on the third floor of the historic Streamline Moderne style building at 4005 Crenshaw Boulevard. The building first opened as a May Company department store in 1947, and it has been operated most recently by Macy’s as part of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Macy’s is leaving. However, the historic building at 4005 Crenshaw Blvd. is staying, and so is the Museum of African American Art.




National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)
While you may not be able to travel right now to Washington, DC to visit the Museum, you can absolutely visit the Museum’s website. The Museum has a large number of digital resources available including information and tools on talking about race, online exhibitions, video archives, and much more.

LAPL African American History Month Collection
The LA Public Library presents a curated collection of over 50 YouTube videos ranging from Chicago House music through the Rodney King riots to an interview with RuPaul.


Virtual – Local


Attend L.A. Events from Your Own Home

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6 pm
Online: African American Heritage Month Author Forum
The City of LA hosts a virtual celebration featuring authors Tamika Mallory (State of Emergency), Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project), Kevin Powell (Going Shopping with Mother), Aaron Phillip Clark (Under Color of Law), Kellye Garrett (Hollywood Homicide), and Devin Bakewell (Greater Life). Zoom link on web page.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6 pm
Online: Pioneering Black Architects in L.A.: The LA Conservancy
During this one-hour virtual tour, visit five different neighborhoods and learn the stories of Norma Merrick Sklarek, Paul Revere Williams, and Robert Kennard (to name a few). Explore how Black architects shaped Los Angeles and influenced communities through advocacy and architecture. “Building Community: Pioneering Black Architects in L.A.” will challenge tourgoers to reflect on why it’s important for architects to understand and represent the communities for which they design buildings.
$12 general public, $8 Conservancy members

Saturday, Feb. 25, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Online African American Genealogy Workshop
The LA County Library presents an online workshop to guide you in researching and honoring your African American ancestry, led by professional genealogist and family historian Charlotte Bocage. Free with RSVP.


Virtual – Non-Local


Learning, Virtually Presenting

One of the silver linings to the terrible dark cloud of the pandemic era is the availability of online cultural events. You can sit back in your pajamas with your coffee mug and enjoy conversations and presentations from around the world. Here are a baker’s dozen for African American History Month, from across the country. Most are free but require reservations.

Monday, Feb. 6, 10 am
“The Little Rock Nine and Desegregation”
Learn the story of the 1957 desegregation crisis at historic Central High School as it relates to the larger story of Civil Rights history in America.

Tuesday, Feb 7, 3:30 pm
“Before Brooklyn: The Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball’s Color Barrier”
Hear about the little-known heroes who fought segregation in baseball, from communist newspaper reporters to Pullman car porters who saw to it that black newspapers espousing integration in professional sports reached the homes of Blacks throughout the country.

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 4 pm
“A History of Black Protest in America”
Rev. Jimmie Hawkins talks about his new book “Unbroken and Unbowed: A History of Black Protest in America.”

Thursday, Feb. 9, 9 am
“Betye Saar: Heart of a Wanderer”
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum curator Diana Seave Greenwald discusses renowned and revolutionary L.A. contemporary artist Betye Saar.

Thursday, Feb. 16, 12 noon
“The Great Migration: 20th Century African American Migration”
Between 1910 and 1970, an estimated six million African Americans moved from the South to cities in the North, Midwest, and West Coast, a demographic movement known as the Great Migration. Join the University of Virginia’s Kevin Gaines as he discusses how this 20th Century wave of African American urban migration transformed American politics, culture, and society.

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2 pm
“Wakanda: Before and Beyond”
Have you ever wondered what life in Africa would be like if there were no colonizers? Learn more about the contemporary and historic themes found in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Thursday, Feb. 16, 3 pm
“Cornbread & Collard Greens”
Deah Berry Mitchell, writer and historian of Southern food, shares how West Africa impacted some of the South’s most glorified foods.

Sunday, Feb. 19, 5 pm
“African Symbols Decoded”
Analyze and learn about African and Black Symbols from history that are all around us today.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 1 pm
“The Rebel Women of Mathematics”
Join Dr. Talithia Williams for an inside look at how women of color, from rocket scientists and code breakers to computer programmers and data scientists, turned the male-dominated world of math upside down.

Monday, Feb. 27, 5 pm
“Black Music’s Impact on America”
Join Linda Gorham on a musical journey as she tells the stories behind influential songs by Black artists: songs that helped shape American music and perhaps, even more importantly, songs that helped shape American attitudes.

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 4:30 pm
“History of Chicago Music: From Blues to Hip-Hop/Rap”
Chicago has been at the crossroads of American Music for over a century. Take a virtual spin around the Windy City to uncover the origins for its musical influences: Blues, Jazz, and Gospel Music.


The West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) is a member-supported, all-volunteer group that works to celebrate and protect the historic West Adams section of Los Angeles, through preservation activism and educational efforts including research, tours, events, and publications.

To learn more and/or support its efforts, see


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