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 …

Why Small, Beleaguered Vallejo Is Huge in California Hip Hop | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Small, Beleaguered Vallejo Is Huge in California Hip Hop

A Bankrupt Neighborhood’s Gift of Gab Created Music Rooted in a ‘Sweet, Idiosyncratic, Hustler Culture’

Conventional wisdom is that California’s greatest art is produced by collisions between the different peoples and cultures in the centers of our biggest cities.

But if that’s true, how …

How Solving the Mystery of a Classic French Novel Could Curb Police Violence

A Sociologist Finds Clues in Camus’s The Stranger That Tension Triggers Excess Force

Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger contains one of the most famous acts of violence in all literature. A man kills someone he doesn’t know, without immediate provocation, in broad daylight. …