• Connecting California

    Dump Biden. Run Snoop

    If the American People (and the Supreme Court) Want a Convicted Felon-in-Chief, Let it Be a Multi-Talented Rapper from Long Beach

    by Joe Mathews

    President Biden should drop out of the presidential race, but not because he is too old or too infirm …


Look to California to Understand Jim Crow

The Violence Black Americans Face Today Is Rooted Everywhere—Including the Nation’s Most Progressive State

by Lynn M. Hudson

For over 25 years I have asked my students in U.S. history courses the same questions about Jim Crow:
  “Where does Jim Crow ‘live’?”
  “When did it begin?”
  “How does it work?”
  Their answers almost always focus on Southern states. I have taught in California, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota, places with well-documented histories of racial segregation and discrimination. A wealth of scholarship shows Jim Crow was everywhere. Still, students cling to a belief that the history of white supremacy is a Southern history …


Fishin’ for Summer 2024 Books to Read?

Zócalo’s Friends and Contributors Have Reeled in Some Fresh Nonfiction for You

Once again, Zócalo has cast our net wide, asking friends and contributors to take part in a beloved Public Square tradition: our annual compilation of nonfiction book recommendations for summer. This list eschews the expected beach reads, instead trawling deep waters for stories that lure us to new places, surprise us with fresh perspectives, and catch hold of our imaginations.
  The 13 books that made the 2024 Zócalo Summer Reading List all make for excellent bookworm bait. They show us what goes into building cities, and what goes into building the image of one of the biggest bands of all time. They move us from India’s 1857 uprising to New Mexico’s present-day wildfires. They chronicle wisdom …

  • What If We Saw Cars Like Rolling Sculptures?

    The Automobile Represents an Engine of Possibility for Black L.A., Said Panelists at “Is Car Culture the Ultimate Act of Community in Crenshaw?”

    by Jackie Mansky

    Where Crenshaw and Leimert boulevards meet, the silver glint of artist and sculptor Charles Dickson’s “Car Culture” is beginning to take shape. One of Dickson’s largest public artworks to date, the towering sculpture, a celebration of Black innovation and expression, is part of Destination Crenshaw, a new 1.3-mile, open-air monument to Black Los …