We believe that the story of communities can never be fully told, but rather revealed over time in greater depth and through different facets of understanding. This section collects those multivalent stories around the rich and resilient Black community in Santa Monica, and how it has evolved over time. Rocio Garcia and Sylvana Gutierrez created a Story Table that explores some of the many themes that came up in the oral histories collected through Culture Mapping 90404. USC’s Critical Cartography class of Fall 2020, taught by Professor Annette Kim, uses mapping and data analysis to reveal patterns and narratives in different neighborhoods and the built environment of the Pico Neighborhood. Finally, some of the many voices of long-time Santa Monica residents are collected in a series of oral histories. We invite you to explore, and use these as a jumping off point to find out more.
Several incredible resources we are deeply indebted to for this research and context include the Quinn Research Center directed by Carolyne and Bill Edwards; the Santa Monica Library and Susan Lamb in particular; and the Belmar Art + History project, which developed alongside Culture Mapping 90404. Historian Allison Rose Jefferson recently completed an excellent and thorough article delving deeply into the history of the Belmar neighborhood of Santa Monica. Many thanks to the history keepers who allowed us to record their voices and stories, including Harriette McCauley, LaVerne Ross, Ola Mitchell, Taylor Parker, Carolyne Edwards, and Robbie Jones.
We plan to add more focus sections in the near future to cover other aspects of our map, including the Japanese-American, Latinx, and Indigenous communities of Santa Monica. Please check back often for more.