Build the African Revolution in Leimert Park and South Central: The Marathon continues

Just four blocks away from the well known The Marathon Clothing store on Crenshaw Boulevard, formerly owned by the honorable rapper and business owner Nipsey Hussle who was murdered March 31, 2019, is what some have called “the New Black Harlem Renaissance.” 

Those who are from the Crenshaw District, South Central Los Angeles or have come into contact with Leimert Park, however, understand that its African cultural vibrancy has been a communal tradition roughly since the late 1960s. 

The Watts Rebellions of 1965 became a catalyst for the preservation of African communities in Los Angeles, sparking new black homeowners of the area to open businesses that were centered on African art and culture.

The Cultural Revolution of Leimert Park

In 1967, African brothers Alonzo and Dale Davis opened the Brockman Gallery in Leimert Park, which became the premier venue for viewing black art at the time. When the gallery closed down in 1987, community members and entrepreneurs began opening businesses that catered to the black intellectual tradition. These businesses helped foster the black arts movement, which refers to the network of politically and formally radical black writers, visual artists, musicians, dancers, theatre workers and cultural organizers of the 1960s and 1970s. 

Richard Fulton opened up Fifth Street Dick’s Coffee Company in 1992 after being homeless on skid row battling alcoholism and the social ills of parasitic capitalism. Richard once stated: 

“We have a spot where people can see their culture, can come and touch their culture. Now, that doesn’t exclude anybody. What it does is invites you to enjoy my culture. Once you enjoy my culture, you automatically understand who I am other than what people tell you about who I am. At the end of the day, all the world needs is a little harmony.” 

Hot & Cool Café, which was opened by Anthony Jolly in the spring of 2018, is very reminiscent of Fifth Street Dick’s. Every weekend from Thursday to Friday, the plant-based (vegan) café hosts programming which consist of live jazz, comedy shows, hip hop cyphers and cultural events. 

This creative branch of the café  is called The Alley because it takes place in the alley right next door to the café. Shows have now moved outside due to the colonial virus, but that has not stopped the cultural renaissance that has begun taking place, not only at Hot & Cool, but throughout Leimert and South Central LA. 

During the week, you can catch Africans in Leimert in conversation with one another, playing double dutch, riding by in lowriders blasting Zapp & Roger, playing chess, reading a newspaper and dancing to the sounds of the drum circle that takes place in the community every week. 

Many other black businesses opened in the late 80s and early 90s in Leimert Park such as Eso Won Books, The World Stage, KAOS Network and Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn. Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn re-opened in August 1997 on 4339 Leimert Boulevard, relocating from its previous location on Central Avenue where it enjoyed 37 years of success since 1964.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the United States representative for California’s 43rd congressional district, which covers much of South Central’s geographical area and includes Leimert Park. Waters has been serving neocolonial America in this district since 1991, before the L.A Rebellions and up until the international rebellions now surfacing in 2020. 

Major changes are happening in the 43rd congressional district of Los Angeles due to the building of the Crenshaw Metro train rail having a new stop at the Leimert Park Village. This will ultimately bring more business and people into the community, which should mean more creative and economic opportunities for the African working class. 

Maxine Waters is running for re-election in this district in the upcoming elections in November, still running under the ruling class dixiecrat (democratic) party, which serves in protecting U.S. imperialism and—along with its counterpart, the republican party—carries out the perpetual rape of Africa’s natural resources for its capitalistic interests. 

We must move from a cultural revolution to a people’s revolution!

We must understand the importance of revolutionary leadership as the African working class and move upward in revolutionary fortitude if we really want our black lives to matter. We must demand more of ourselves and understand that misguided political education subdues our cries of Black Power by suppressing revolutionary demands with watered down reformists suggestions given by the African petty-bourgeois leadership, which is steeped in neoliberalism. 

The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) has never led any African down the road of miseducation and false hope. It has stood by its people, all while providing them with resources such as The Burning Spear newspaper to help strengthen their understanding and political position as a people, nationally and internationally.

The cultural renaissance of Leimert Park embraces the spirit of afrocentricity by preserving the creative ideas and expressions of the Africans already occupying the village and Africans entering the village for the first time.

It is vital that we meditate on the words of revolutionary African leader Malcolm X when he stated: 

“Our cultural revolution must be the means of bringing us closer to our African brothers and sisters. It must begin in the community and be based on community and be based on community participation. Afro-Americans will be free to create only when they can depend on the Afro-American community for support, and Afro-American artists must realize that they depend on the Afro-American community for inspiration.” 

On the song “Last Time That I Checc’d” from his studio album Victory Lap, Nipsey Hussle stated, 

“This for every n*gga in the streets trying to feed the babies/The single mamas workin’ hard not to miss a payment/and dirty money get washed on royalty statements/black owners in this game of powerful racist/Young n*ggas in the set that’s doing it makeshift/out the garage is how you end up in charge.” 

Nipsey paid homage to the African working class sisters and brothers that are trying to make something of their situation, being that they have to constantly respond to the demands of the white power structure. 

The time for revolutionary leadership and guidance is NOW! It is highly needed to preserve the political and economic interests of Leimert Park’s future. We must move from a cultural revolution to a people’s revolution that is centered on the needs of the African working class. 

The APSP is calling on African Angelenos to join and build the African Revolution in Leimert Park, South Central LA and the West Coast. Revolutionary change can only come from organizing in a vanguard party whose fight is for black people and serves their best interest. 

We must take a militant approach to protecting and building this cultural hub of African intellectuals, philosophers, artists and future revolutionaries in Leimert Park.







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