Photo: Hattie McDaniel and boys from the Los Angeles Health Club attend the Val Verde Park swimming pool cornerstone installation ceremony, April 16, 1939. Credit: Fay M. Jackson Memorial Collection, courtesy of Dale Lya Pierson
SoCal was a haven for Black developers. Racist resident ended it.
Written by Danielle Chiriguayo and Produced by Angie Perrin By Jocey Fortin | Press Play with Madeleine Brand, KCRW
August 28, 2023
Many African Americans in the early 20th century traveled to California in search of a better life and freedom from restrictive Jim Crow laws. While the Golden State wasn’t immune to racism and discrimination, Black communities carved out their own little slice of heaven — owning parts of Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica. An exhibition at the California African American Museum looks at how Black Americans shaped sites of recreation and relaxation. “Black California Dreamin’: Claiming Space at America’s Leisure Frontier” runs through March 31, 2024.
Listen to the story here.