California African American Museum, Los Angeles

California African American Museum, Los Angeles; (c) Soul Of America

LA Cultural Sites

California African American Museum

Lula Washington Dance Theatre
DESCRIPTION: 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
PHONE: 323-292-5852

Debbie Allen Dance Academy
DESCRIPTION: 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
PHONE: 310-280-9145

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
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADDRESS: Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: free on premises
PHONE: 323-290-5900

Vintage Hollywood Museum
DESCRIPTION: 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
PHONE: 323-216-7528

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
PHONE: 323-734-1164

Blackstreet USA Puppet Theatre
DESCRIPTION: 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
ADMISSION: event-based
DAYS & HOURS: by appt or event
ADDRESS: 4619 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: 323-936-6091

Ebony Repertory Theatre
DESCRIPTION: 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
BOX OFFICE: 1 hour before play
ADDRESS: 4718 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: box office 323-964-9766

Dorothy Dandridge Sculpture
DESCRIPTION: 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

World Stage
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
ADMISSION: event-based
DAYS & HOURS: by class or event
ADDRESS: 4344 Degnan Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: 323-293-2451

Vision Theatre
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
DAYS & HOURS: a operates as a part venue for rent or lease
ADDRESS: 43rd Place at Leimert Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: reservations 323-291-7321

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
DAYS & HOURS: no appt for visitors
ADDRESS: 4434 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: 323-290-4690

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
ADMISSION: event-based
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri by class or event
ADDRESS: 3018 West 48th Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: 323-299-6124

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
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 1727 East 107th Street, Los Angeles, CA MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: 213-847-4646

Watts Museum of Art, History and 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
PHONE: 323-563-5639

Mayme Clayton Library and Museum
DESCRIPTION: 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
DAYS & HOURS: coming Fall 2010
ADDRESS: 4130 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA MAP
PARKING: free on premises
PHONE: 323-737-3292

KJLH Radio Station
DESCRIPTION: 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
ADMISSION: appt only
DAYS & HOURS: visit by appt
ADDRESS: 161 North La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA MAP
PARKING: on street and lots nearby
PHONE: 310-330-2266

Jackie Robinson Center
DESCRIPTION: 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
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 8a-9p, Fri 8a-5p
ADDRESS: 1020 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA MAP
PARKING: on street and lot in back
PHONE: 818-791-7983

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
PHONE: 323-299-6000

Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper
The oldest and largest Black-owned newspaper on the West Coast, publishes weekly on Thursdays
ADDRESS: 3800 Crenshaw Blvd
PHONE: 323-299-3800

LA Watts Times Newspaper
A popular Black-oriented newspaper
PHONE: 213-291-9334

The Wave Newspaper
Another popular Black-oriented newspaper
PHONE: 323-290-3000

Urban League Los Angeles
ADDRESS: 3450 Mount Vernon Drive
PHONE: 323-299-9660

NAACP Hollywood
ADDRESS: 3910 West Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd, Suite 202
PHONE: 323-296-2630

LA Black Business Association
ADDRESS: 3756 Santa Rosalia Drive, #422
PHONE: 323-291-9334

LA 100 Black Men
ADDRESS: 3701 Stocker Street, #309
PHONE: 323-294-7444


2 replies
  1. Cheryl Dawson says:

    A few years ago I was contracted by a group in New York to produce a publication called “Souljourn” which was aimed at African American traveller’s to Los Angeles. I thought the content was magical. It was sponsored by American Airlines. It was well laid out. I received a contract for the following year, but it just didn’t go anywhere . If there is ever any interest in another like travel publication, I would love to be considered.


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