December 20, 2012

By Chelsea Battle

LAWT Contributing Writer


If you’ve ever strolled down the aisles on the 3rd floor of Macy’s at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, chances are you’ve passed right by The Museum of African American Art and didn’t even notice it. The truth is, it’s one of LA’s best-kept secrets.

Now, more than ever, is the time to do a double take as you exit the elevator near the museum entrance. Look for it! That is because LA’s hidden jewel is now showcasing one of its most interesting attractions ever:  “The 90 That Built LA” exhibit.

The 90 That Built LA is a free exhibit sponsored by the Los Angeles Urban League and Time Warner Cable. The league will use this project as a platform to celebrate not only it’s 90 plus years of service to the community, but 90 dynamic individuals who have helped to shape our fair city. From December 13 until February 28th patrons will be able to view an impressive collection of historical artifacts, artwork, and photographs chronicling the contributions of individuals who have helped to shape Los Angeles in the areas of entertainment, education, politics, and community development.

“For several years, the Urban League has dreamed of putting together this exhibit, but we could not make it happen until we had a committed partner, Time Warner Cable,” said Los Angeles Urban League Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Chris Strudwick-Turner.

“Like us, they saw the vision of what this exhibit could be and they have been with us every step of the way as a presenting sponsor to put this exhibit together for the community.”

Given the countless numbers of people who have dedicated their lives to making a difference, whittling the selection down to 90 was doubtlessly a challenge.  At the exhibit’s grand opening last Thursday, project coordinators emphasized that there are certainly more than 90 individuals who have contributed to LA. However, having designated the number of spots, they made the decision to allow the community and project board members to choose the notorious 90. Some of the honorees include Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Councilman Bernard Parks, former mayor Tom Bradley, dance choreographer Lula Washington, community organizer Cesar Chavez, and Danny Bakewell, the publisher for the Los Angeles Sentinel.

It would be hard to come up with a reason to miss this exhibit. From Kwanza through Black history month this free, local exhibit will provide an in depth history lesson that you won’t find elsewhere.  As you plan your visit, remember to grab a child’s hand and bring them along too. 

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Ali

Category: Arts & Culture