How South (Central) L.A. Is Forging Its Future

Where Movements and Place Make the People and Their Dreams

Under the shade of Mercado La Paloma’s gold medallion trees, some 200 masked guests gathered to take part in Zócalo Public Square’s long-awaited return to in-person programming.

The open-air event, which also streamed live online, was produced in partnership with Esperanza Community Housing’s South Central Innervisions: An AfroLatinxFuturism, a free multidisciplinary arts festival being held at the mercado, a marketplace and community center in the Figueroa Corridor, this Saturday.

The question of the evening—“Is South L.A. Forging a New American Identity?”—offered a dynamic look at how place-based identity can build bonds of …

Searching for My Grandfather and the Tulsa in Me | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Searching for My Grandfather and the Tulsa in Me

100 Years Later, I’m Still Sifting Through the Tulsa Race Massacre’s Destruction to Find Our Family’s History

I am my father’s daughter.

I am the first-born daughter, the middle child, who was called Sweet Pea, Mama-Daddy, and Peanie. Naming is very important in the Black community. The …

A People’s Song Upon the Waters | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A People’s Song Upon the Waters

A Familial Examination of the Sea Chantey Lays Out Its African American Roots

The last time I visited my paternal grandfather, Elton Smith, Jr., at his Virginia home, it was 2018, and he was well into his 90s. As I interviewed him for …

Caught in White Supremacy’s Web, Seeking a Future My Mother Showed Me | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Navigating the Constellation of Restraints on Black Life

Scholar Dexter Voisin on Whiteness, Colorism, and the Societal Narratives We Inherit

“The true focus of change is never merely the oppressive systems we seek to change but the oppressor that is planted deep within each of us.” —Audre Lorde

In the 1960s, …

The Black Freedom Seekers Who ‘Managed to Shape Their Own Destinies’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Black Freedom Seekers Who ‘Managed to Shape Their Own Destinies’

The Many and Varied Attempts by African Americans to Escape Bondage in the Lower Mississippi Valley Tell a Larger Narrative

The Lower Mississippi Valley begins at Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River flows into the Mississippi, and extends south to the Head of Passes 100 miles below New Orleans, where …