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

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

This essay published alongside next week’s Zócalo and Destination Crenshaw event, “Is Car Culture the Ultimate Act of Community in Crenshaw?” Click here to watch the full conversation.

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 paved roads and cheap automobiles, Dr. Peter Price Cobbs and Rosa Ellen (née Mashaw) Cobbs were able to see …

Where I Go: L.A.’s Oldest Standing Black-Owned Bar

I Didn’t Know How to Make a Cadillac Margarita. The Living Room Still Offered Me a Job—And a Community

The Living Room is the oldest standing Black-owned bar in Los Angeles. Located in the heart of the West Adams district and previously known as Barry’s Cocktail Lounge, the bar …

Our Favorite Events of 2021

New Ideas, a New Home, and a New Hybrid Event Format Connected Us With Angelenos—and Audiences Around the World

Over 18 years and 650 events since we hosted our inaugural Zócalo event in 2003, Zócalo Public Square remains as fiercely committed as ever to bringing people together around ideas. …

Why South L.A. Has Earned the Vice Presidency | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why South L.A. Has Earned the Vice Presidency

Karen Bass Has Led Her Community’s 30-Year Transformation. Who Better to Lead a Nation at Rock Bottom?

Can South Los Angeles teach America how to lead?

That’s the promising question behind the news that Karen Bass is a top contender to be the Democratic vice-presidential nominee.

Bass is best …

The Slaves of La La Land—and South Los Angeles

What the Lilting Musical and an Acclaimed Satire Reveal About California’s Dark Heart

The brilliant new film musical La La Land is being celebrated as a love letter to Los Angeles. But the darker heart of the movie lies in a brief and …