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

Larchmont Artist Inspired to Address Racism

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You may have noticed these black and white signs posted last weekend on Larchmont Blvd. The anti-racism messages were brought to our attention by a Buzz reader. We had an idea of who may have posted them and got a chance to learn more about her during an interview this week.

The artist, who prefers to remain anonymous because she wants the story to be about the message and not her personal activism, is a recent UCLA grad who grew up in the neighborhood. She told us she posted the signs as a personal, impulsive, emotional reaction to the violence directed at the black community in general, and – more specifically – the recent killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, followed by the killings in five white Dallas of police officers, all in the same week.

“I didn’t want the weekend to go by without people knowing and thinking about what was happening,” she explained.  “The issue of race causes so much discomfort. But I think the best way to approach the discomfort is together — we need to approach it as a community. I wanted people who feel the same way to know that if you want to do something, you can. I didn’t want this important, uncomfortable conversation to die out.”

The artist grew up in the neighborhood, attending the Larchmont Family Fair, playing AYSO soccer and attending Marlborough School.  After middle school, she attended Hamilton High School’s music academy, where she was a minority white student in a highly diverse community of black and Latino students. Her high school years gave her a chance to get know students of color as people and friends, not stereotypes. She told us she is deeply grateful for that opportunity, as well as for her family and neighborhood that she dearly loves.  In fact, it was her pride in the Larchmont Village community that also inspired her to put up the signs.

“We have so many amazing people in this neighborhood,” she said. “I know they would be proud to be on the right side of history.”

The artist was hoping the signs would stir people’s consciousness and inspire them to “pay attention, start listening and help make the change that is waiting to happen.”

“Larchmont is a where everyone meets,” she said. “Putting up the signs was me trying to give voice to a movement that really matters, in my own voice.”

The artist is working on ideas to actively engage our neighborhood using events, book clubs and social media, and promises to be in touch when she has a more concrete plan. Though she’s not affiliated with any particular group, she suggested as a good resource for information on ways to get involved.

Even though the posters were taken down, the artist’s efforts continue, thanks to the photos taken by our reader, who was inspired by the messages and shared it with us.

I am glad that you connected with the artist who put up the signs,” said our reader.  “Please let them know how much they moved and inspired me.” He also sent a link to “great piece” in this week’s Atlantic, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, in case you missed it:

Those of us who are fortunate to own homes in this wonderful community need only look at the covenants in our deeds that originally restricted sales to non-whites, Jews and others (until the laws were struck down in 1948), to know that we share in our nation’s racist past and are obligated to help ensure a better future.

Thank you to our local artist for making us think about how we can be part of addressing this important issue locally.  We welcome your thoughts, too.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. What if you feel that signs are racist and BLM is a terrorist, racist organization that strives to separate and segregate versus unify?

    • Agreed! What a false narrative BLM is putting out re: police violence. Identity politics just serves to divide the races even more.

  2. Thank you for raising awareness on the issue of racism.
    It’s easy to minimize if one doesn’t experience discrimination. Appreciate your comments.


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