Black History Month

Downtown Santa Monica aims to amplify Black voices and highlight the history, diversity, achievements, and creativity of our local Black community.


We have partnered with local Black artists to create three public art installations along Third Street Promenade to honor the Black experience and draw attention to the contributions made by African Americans and those of African descent, as part of a greater effort in the City of Santa Monica to deepen our knowledge and foster understanding of other cultures and experiences that have been marginalized or overlooked due to a legacy of slavery and institutional racism. 


Art Installations

On view thru March 15, 2021


A Brilliant Dummy
"Shades of Us"

1343 Third Street Promenade

@abrilliantdummy

 

Tiayrra Bradley, who creates under the name A Brilliant Dummy, is a designer and photographer specializing in commercial, film, and social media content. Her entrepreneurial spirit is what drives her to continuously find new ways to tell vibrant stories of joy while encouraging others to do the same. Among her clients are Netflix, Google, Macy's, and McDonald's. More at https://abrilliantdummy.com/

 

On view through April 2021


Shplinton
"Warm Waves" 

1201 Third Street Promenade 

@shplinton

 

Artist Shplinton celebrates pop culture and his home city of Los Angeles with a fresh, contemporary perspective. His signature work is done in acrylic, watercolor and ink, centered around the theme of joy, wellness, and hustle. Using vibrant colors and lively figures he tells the story of a creative evolution. Shplinton has worked alongside some of the most notable public brands including Coca-Cola, Google, NFL, TOMS, Lincoln Motors, Equinox and Happy Socks. More at www.shplinton.com/

 


Mira Gandy
"Phenomenal Women"

1344 Third Street Promenade

@miragandyart

 

Mira Gandy is a visual artist whose paintings, collages, videos and installations examine issues related to women, identity, beauty, race, history and their intersection in media and culture. Gandy studied at the American University in Paris and holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design where a Black Alumni Scholarship was created in her honor. More at miragandyart.com.

 

Santa Monica Trailblazers

On view through March 15, 2021


Black Santa Monica Trailblazers are also featured on decorative banners along the Third Street Promenade. Learn about them and their contributions to the community below: 

Donald Augusta Brunson & Vernon Emanuel Brunson

Donald Augusta Brunson & Vernon Emanuel Brunson

Donald Augusta Brunson was born in Santa Monica in 1907 in the family home at 1745 Fifth St. He was the first African American child born in Santa Monica.
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Betty S. McCleary

Betty S. McCleary

An original "Rosie the Riveter," Betty S. McCleary left her home of Magnolia, Arkansas shortly after graduating high school in search of a better life out West, joining The Douglas Aircraft Co.
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Thelma Terry

Thelma Terry

Thelma Terry, affectionately known as "Miz Terry" by all who knew her, worked as an artist, designer, ceramics instructor, and recreation director at The Rec, now known as Memorial Park.
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Dr. Alfred T. Quinn

Dr. Alfred T. Quinn

Dr. Alfred T. Quinn became the first Black teacher hired in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in 1951.
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Judge Marcus O. Tucker, Jr.

Judge Marcus O. Tucker, Jr.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Marcus O. Tucker, Jr. was born in Santa Monica in 1934.
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Nat Trives

Nat Trives

Known around town as "Mr.
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Blanche Carter

Blanche Carter

Blanche Carter was a leader and voice for the Black community in Santa Monica at an important time when the city was undergoing growth and change.
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LaVerne Ross

LaVerne Ross

In 1992, LaVerne Ross, a local community activist and organizer, was instrumental in creating a Juneteenth celebration in the City of Santa Monica.
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Lloyd C. Allen

Lloyd C. Allen

Lloyd C. Allen was one of Santa Monica's most notable business magnates.
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Hillard Lawson

Hillard Lawson

Born in Vicksburg, Hillard Lawson moved to Santa Monica in 1921. He worked for the main Santa Monica Post Office for 31 years before retiring in 1969.
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Black History Month Calendar of Events

 

Below is a calendar of Black History Month events produced by the City of Santa Monica. If you are hosting an event, or know of others not listed here, please let us know by emailing marketing@downtownsm.com and we will do our best to add them here.

 

 

Historic Belmar Park: Preserving History through Stories and Art  
When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 6pm 

Description: Join historian Alison Rose Jefferson and social practice artist April Banks for a discussion about the Belmar History + Art Project, including the outdoor exhibition that will soon encircle the new park, Historic Belmar Park. The outdoor exhibition features a monumental new artwork, A Resurrection in Four Stanzas, and interpretative story panels which are an outgrowth of the book "Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era." These and other features of the Belmar History + Art Project commemorate the history of the Historic Belmar Park area and other South Santa Monica Beach neighborhoods that were home to a thriving African American community until they were displaced in the 1950s. Keeping this history alive is a goal of the Belmar History + Art project and the Santa Monica Black Lives Association, the nonprofit organization founded by Black community leaders spearheading the creation of the Black Agenda. 

RSVP: here

More Information: santamonica.gov/arts/belmar

 

Afro-Joy Dance Party with Tatiana Zamir 
When: Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 6:30pm 

Description: The Afro-Joy Dance Party is for all bodies and levels of experience to embody joy, healing and connect with community. This follow-along dance party is mainly inspired by Afro-diasporic music and movement. Come feel your heartbeat guide you to the rhythms while we elevate our spirit, our health and each other. Tatiana Zamir is a dancer, performing artist and movement instructor who has spent a lifetime of training and exploration of the body as a vehicle for healing and awakening to our highest destiny. 

RSVP: here

 

Celebrating Black Excellence Community Awards 
When: Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 6pm 

Description: Join us for the 2nd annual Black Excellence Community Awards to honor Black professionals in Santa Monica for outstanding leadership and service.

RSVP: here

 

Special thanks to Robbie Jones of Black Santa Monica Tours and Concierge, and the Quinn Research Center, whose mission is to empower community members by being an educational resource that promotes the study and research of Black Family History and Culture in the Santa Monica Bay Area.


This project was made possible by "Art of Recovery," an initiative of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs, www.santamonica.gov/arts/artofrecovery.


#DTSMBlackHistory  #ArtofRecovery #ArtSaMo #SantaMonicaShines