In L.A., Driving the Road to Black Empowerment

For Families Like Mine, Cars Were an Engine of Social and Economic Mobility

This essay publishes alongside next week’s Zócalo and Destination Crenshaw event, “Is Car Culture the Ultimate Act of Community in Crenshaw?” Register here to join the program live in-person at the ASU California Center Broadway or virtually online at 6 p.m. PDT on Friday, May 31.

In 1925 my maternal grandparents bought a new Dodge, packed up their things, and made their escape from the anti-Black restrictions, injustice, and violence of Montgomery, Alabama: bound for a new life in Los Angeles, California.

Thanks to more newly …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Artist Maurice Harris

‘I Am Deliberate and Afraid of Nothing’

Maurice Harris is a Los Angeles-based artist and founder of the floral design studio Bloom & Plume, and of a coffee shop with the same name. Before joining the panel …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Poet aja monet

The Energy You Bring to a Word Can Heal or Harm

aja monet is a Surrealist Blues poet. Her 2023 debut poetry album, when the poems do what they do, was nominated for the Best Spoken Word Poetry Album Grammy. Before …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Agent and Former NFL Player Jacques McClendon

There’s Nothing Like ‘Rocky Top’

Jacques McClendon is an agent with WME Sports and represents coaches and executives across professional and collegiate football. He previously spent seven years as an NFL player, and was most …

Why Shouldn’t Phillis Wheatley’s Poems Show Up at an NFL Game?

At Last Night’s Event—”Can a Football Stadium Be a Black History Museum?”—Panelists Argued to Democratize Culture

On the rarified second level of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, amid premium owner suites and premium beer sales, there’s an Angela Davis quote plastered on a wall.

“Our histories never …

The Black Songwriter Who Took Nashville by Storm

Before Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” Won Song of the Year at the CMAs, Hit Maker Ted Jarrett’s Music Topped the Country Charts

Singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman made history last year when she became the first Black artist to receive the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year Award, after Luke Combs remade a …