What is Leimert Park
|” Leimert Park’s landscape is incomparable, especially when examining the overall topography of Los Angeles; it is a residential neighborhood densely populated by foliage amid a sprawling, concrete urban plane. As a distinctive physical space within the City, Leimert Park proves intrinsically valuable due to its rarity. To walk into Leimert Park’s commercial area-the Village- is to walk down Main Street in a small town”
(Robin Gilliam, 2006)
Leimert Park and the Legacy of the Black Community in Los Angeles
The history of Leimet Park is intrically linked to the history and culture of African Americans in Los Angeles. With desegregation in 1942 and migration of African Americans to this initially white-dominated area, the community and the neighboring Crenshaw District eventually became one of the largest black middle-class neighborhoods in the United States.
Today, Leimert Park is the only community in Los Angeles devoted entirely to the preservation and cultivation of Black culture. Given that Blacks hail from a variety countries and Black ethnicities vary greatly, Leimert Park is unique because it embraces and illustrates a wide spread of Black cultures and consequently generates a uniquely Black identity. Although predominantly African American, Leimert Park represents the diversity of Los Angeles and is home to a historical Asian population with increasing number of Latinos and whites.
Leimert Park Village is a quaint commercial and African American cultural district within this historical community. The Village is considered the center of the African-American arts scene in Los Angeles, with flourishing blues and jazz clubs, as well as numerous venues for dramatic performances and poetry readings. It has been referred to as "the black Greenwich Village." The Village lends itself to an array of Black ethnicities: Jamaican, Nigerian, Belizean, Ethiopian, Cuban, Creole and African American. Leimert Park is the only Los Angeles area community that compiles a wide range of Black ethnic cultures into a central location. The physical space of Leimert Park has taken on a uniquely Black identity that celebrates moments of pluralism found in the Black race.