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The Leimert Park Village Book Fair is held in the well preserved and nationally known Los Angeles Black artistic and cultural neighborhood Leimert Park, home to legendary filmmaker and owner of the Kaos Network Ben Caldwell and the Black bookstore Eso Won Books. Cynthia Exum and her crew have been organizing the Leimert Park Village Book Fair for a decade, which is no small feat. So I sat down with her to discuss this monumental accomplishment.
Twenty-one years after Ben Caldwell opened the doors of the Kaos Network for the community Hip Hop workshop, Project Blowed, we are celebrating the birth of one of L.A.’s biggest Hip Hop institutions. The 21st anniversary will be celebrated Sunday, Dec. 27, outside in Leimert Park, in the “La.” Check out Dara Caldwell, the daughter of Ben Caldwell, as she tells us about a golden era in Southern Cali Hip Hop.
I recently was in Leimert Park and I met the owners of 2 Dollz, sisters Kamilah and Adrianna. 2 Dollz is a company that custom designs shoes. And when I looked down at these sistas’ feet, their shoe game was killin’ em. So all of you shoe collectors and fanatics as well as those who like to look unique and chic, check these sistas out in their own words. Then go and support Black business by showing your financial support.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and local Black community activists were outraged at the appallingly low percentage of Blacks working. The mayor demanded a more aggressive campaign to ensure Black participation and increase employment among African Americans as part of advanced utility relocation activities for the Crenshaw-LAX Transit Corridor Project.
“Take the kinks out of your mind, instead of out of your hair,” said Marcus Garvey. Black women today who strive to take his admonition to heart are in a better position than their sisters of the past. Research focusing on the products used in African-American beauty salons – and homes – is increasing.
A new light rail line through South Los Angeles to the airport that promises thousands of jobs got the green light Sept. 22 from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board of directors. Now that the project can move into its construction phase, the Black communities the rail line will pass through are asking whether they’ll benefit and who will win the contracts and jobs.
The West East Community Access Network Foundation (WE CAN Foundation) announces the First Annual Allensworth “Scat to Rap” Family Music Festival at Allensworth State Historical Park, 43 Palmer Ave., Delano, CA 93219, in Tulare County on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
An organizing meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. at Chuco’s Justice Center in Inglewood for people interested in monitoring the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer who shot Oscar Grant, an unarmed 22-year-old Black man, in the back on an Oakland BART platform on Jan. 1, 2009. Mehserle is the first police officer in California ever to be charged with murder.
Ben Caldwell is a mainstay in Los Angeles’ Black cultural district known as Leimert Park. He has had a part in assisting in the careers of many of LA’s most talented artists over the last 20 years, but most notable would be the influence that he and his venue, the Kaos Network, had on the legendary LA artist collective known as Project Blowed.
On July 23 the Prisoners of Conscience Committee (POCC) kicked off the “You Can Kill a Revolutionary ... But You Can’t Kill the Revolution Tour” in Oakland, California, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party.