From well-known African American cultural finds like the California African American Museum (CAAM) and Leimert Park Village, to hidden historical treasures like Biddy Mason Park and the Battleship IOWA, this comprehensive guide highlights Black Angeleno's pivotal impact on the fabric of LA.
The rich and varied tour begins in South LA and Downtown Los Angeles, then covers LA's Beach communities and Westside.
Tour highlights are as follows:
Day One - Begin at Watts Coffee House, a community hub born from the ashes of the Watts riots of 1965; see the world-famous Watts Towers; take in the murals sculptures and photography at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) headquarters; pay tribute to the first 100 years of service by LA's African American firefighters at the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFM); explore the racial diversity of modern flight at Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum; check out the latest March on Washington exhibit at CAAM; enjoy the immersive GRAMMY Museum; learn about the remarkable life of former slave Bridget Mason at Biddy Mason Park; and unwind at Harold & Belle's, which has been serving the distinctive flavors and Southern hospitality of New Orleans since 1969.
Day Two - Visit the observation deck at the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), designed by famed Black architect Paul R. Williams; tour the Battleship IOWA, where African American Navymen served for decades; shop for a one-of-a-kind LA souvenirs at Crafted, housed in a former World War II-era warehouse; explore works of art representing the Afro-Caribbean & South American diaspora at Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA); and dine on fresh seafood at Ports O' Call Village.
Day Three - Visit Leimert Park, the neighborhood popularly known as the "Black Greenwich Village"; read up on Black history or catch a notable author at Eso Won Books; find free, unique art at the Museum of African American Art (MAAA); check out the Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum of Central Africa, on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); stop by the Petersen Automotive Museum to view more than 150 rare and classic cars; visit the Fowler Museum, home of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora; soak up the sun at Santa Monica Beach; and savor mouthwatering bites from Chef Govind Armstrong's Post & Beam.
Experience Los Angeles' African American cultural tour during February's annual Pan African Film and Art Festival (taking place through February 17, 2014), during Leimert Park's Juneteenth celebration or anytime throughout the year. Spring travelers can take advantage of deals at suggested hotels including Hotel Figueroa in Downtown Los Angeles (rates start at $148) and JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot (rates start at $219).