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In Our Cities: The California African American Museum Redefines Black History in Los Angeles

California African American Museum

The Black experience in Los Angeles has been defined by misunderstood stereotypes for years—gang wars, drive-by shootings, broken families—but curators at the California African American Museum want to show just how nuanced the community truly is.

At the museum, out-of-state visitors and Angelenos alike can learn how Los Angeles has been, and continues to be, a mecca for Black culture, art and history, according to Tyree Boyd-Pates, the curator of No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992 exhibition at CAAM.

“There’s a humanity that these communities of colors should have, and I wanted to bring and highlight that for all to see,” said Boyd-Pates.

Patrons can experience a wide array of moving exhibitions at the museum that showcase the magnitude of Black history in the city. From 1940s zoot suits that impacted criminal justice policies in the city, to a replica of a South Central living room, complete with N.W.A. records and 1990s newscasts, there’s something for everyone.

“Black art, and Black artistry, is taking the forefront in leading political discussion,” said Boyd-Pates. “Fortunately, at the California African American Museum, we find ourselves being thought leaders for that, and also continuing a long tradition where black artists, creatives, historians and patrons can understand and contextualize themselves in broader and wider ways.”


Watch our exclusive interview withBoyd-Pates about the California African American Museum (above), then check out our entire In Our Cities series here: ebony.com/inourcities

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