What is some good media about Black life in California?
January 11, 2021 10:19 AM   Subscribe

For a work newsletter, I am looking for links to media that focus on Black history and culture in California. I'm seeking longform journalism, photojournalism, films, tv, podcasts (series or single episodes), literature, music compilations, virtual art or museum shows, etc, focusing on Black life with a substantive intersection with California. These can be historical or current topics, including history, politics and activism, but also things like food, fashion, business, sports, religious life, etc. The media does not need to be free but should be relatively easy for a person to consume via web or streaming music or TV services. Thanks in advance!
posted by vunder to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Biddy Mason.
posted by effluvia at 10:31 AM on January 11

Apologies, Here's the Link: Biddy Mason Memorial Park
posted by effluvia at 10:38 AM on January 11

I thought The Last Black Man in San Francisco was a gorgeous film.
posted by TwoStride at 10:47 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]

This Week In Blackness was a media organization producing multiple podcasts for around a decade I think, which started in NYC but spent its last few years headquartered in California. Unfortunately there's no central archive of the episodes I've run into since the primary domain went down, but I've come across some of the last few episodes cached in various places via Google searches.

One of the podcasts... entitled I Haven't Had My Coffee Yet, I think? Was recorded right in the home of the CEO Elon James White and his wife (also a professional comedian and broadcaster) Emily, raising their young daughter, so everything pivoted around their daily lives, but with usually at least two professional comedians involved it was quite entertaining. Then there was one called Daddy Game Proper which I never got to listen to but I think was about fatherhood, and a variety of others... they might have been from the NYC era but I also remember one about sexuality and one about Black history.

These are all the “intelligent people having a chat” sort of podcasts, as opposed to the more journalistic sort, but cover a wide variety of topics and explore them astutely.
posted by XMLicious at 11:04 AM on January 11

The podcast East Bay Yesterday regularly includes episodes about the history of Black residents of the East Bay.
posted by suelac at 11:29 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]

Los Angeles Plays Itself has a thing or two to say about black representation in film in and around Los Angeles.
posted by nickggully at 11:35 AM on January 11

I really like what the folks at Black Voice News are doing. I learned about them and Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds through her work heading up Mapping Black California, which was formed to help map hard-to-count populations during the census.

It looks like the Mapping Black California site is shutting down somewhat, but there are still helpful interactive maps set up.

BVN would be a great place to start!
posted by rw at 12:01 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]

Also, check out the collection of MLK's papers at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Center hosted at Stanford. Also a good source of resources and jumping off points.
posted by rw at 12:04 PM on January 11

Mark Bradford Bradford incorporates the community of Liemert Park in Los Angeles into his awesome artwork.
posted by effluvia at 12:56 PM on January 11

Black History Collection at USC

Black History interview tapes at Pasadena Museum.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:10 PM on January 11

Does that mean you don't want books? Isabelle Wilkerson's magisterial By the Warmth of Other Suns follows three characters, one of whom is a doctor who moves to California. Covers the journey out, how he decided where to settle, challenges, bringing his family out, setting up a practice that eventually included Ray Charles, all in great detail. An amazing read.
posted by wnissen at 3:29 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]

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