The Identities of Los Angeles

It was as true in 1781 as it is today: the city of Los Angeles as much an idea as a municipality. When it was established that year, El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles Del Rio de Porciuncula was already foreshadowing its future as a vibrant, polyglot, world-class city, with a population whose ethnic mix prefigured the L.A. of today.

But the journey of L.A.’s black citizens was one and the same as with the drive for influence and self-determination by black Americans elsewhere in America, with the same challenges and setbacks.

Popmatters takes an in-depth tour at this alternative city scape in their review of Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities, edited by Darnell Hunt and Ana-Christina Ramon