Can a Historic L.A. Bar’s Queer History Still Demand Justice?

Photographs from the Black Cat Tell the Tale of a Movement’s Muddled Origins—And Where It Might Go

The round face of a cartoon cat—big eyes, earnest smile—still hangs off the front façade of the Black Cat in Silver Lake.

Today, it peers out from above the kind of gastropub where you can order a $16 cocktail, easily fitting in with this gentrifying part of Sunset Boulevard, once known as a working-class Latino neighborhood and gay enclave. By the end of this year, the space next to the Black Cat is slated to become a Shake Shack, joining the likes of luxury supermarket chain Erewhon a block west.

Fifty-five years …

More In: Glimpses

My Brother, the Acclaimed Artist from the East L.A. Barrio

A Very Personal Chronicle of Painter Salomón Huerta’s Journey to the Whitney Biennial and Beyond

My brother, Salomón Huerta, is an internationally recognized visual artist. When I think about his rise in the art world, I can’t help but reflect on how far he came, …

The Photo Album That Succeeded Where Pancho Villa Failed

The Revolutionary May Have Tried to Find My Grandfather by Raiding a New Mexico Village—But a Friend’s Camera Truly Captured Our Family Patriarch

For a long time—at first sporadically but lately in hot pursuit—I’ve been looking for Sam. Sam is Sam Ravel, my paternal grandfather.  I scour the indexes of history books for …

From the Porch to the Plaza, a Diaspora Looks Forward | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

From the Porch to the Plaza, a Diaspora Looks Forward

The Art of South Central Innervisions: An AfroLatinx Futurism

Well before the pandemic began, Esperanza Community Housing was planning a public arts festival in South Central Los Angeles to challenge prevailing narratives about the community and celebrate its excellence …

Body of Color | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Body of Color

Naima Lowe’s Installation ‘Ropes, Pinks’ Uncoils Trauma in Pursuit of Black Freedom

Consisting of three lengths of cotton and hemp rope of varying thicknesses—200 feet in all—dyed in shades of pink, “Ropes, Pinks” is an installation work by artist Naima Lowe. This …