Leimert Park Jazz
- Arnold Rampersad
Leimert Park is a residential neighborhood located in South Los Angeles, about twenty minutes west of Downtown LA. It is considered the hub of the African American cultural aesthetic. Visual arts, theater, and music, with an emphasis on jazz, are the foundations of the area. African American filmmaker John Singleton called it the “Black Greenwich Village.” Beautifully mature trees line the streets of art deco and Mediterranean style homes. A park with a massive water feature sits at the entrance of the village. The area was named after its developer, Walter H. Leimert, in 1928. It was considered one of the first models of urban planning in Southern California. Protected by local covenants, residents of Leimert Park were predominantly white. In the 1950s and 1960s African Americans began moving into the area after the Supreme Court determined it was unlawful to enforce covenants.
Today African Americans represent 80 percent ...