'Watts to Leimert Park' is the first sequel to 'L.A. Authors.' Over the years I've performed poetry and taught high school in Leimert Park. Several times a month I would spend the day in the neighborhood with the poet A.K. Toney, one of the most visible writers in the area. Toney and I frequented Eso Won Books, performed in events like the Leimert Park Book Fair and Art Walk. He introduced me to the legendary poet Kamau Daaood. I began to feel that there was an amazing collection of writers and artists in the area that were not getting the credit they deserved.
That feeling grew even stronger after I read several books about the legacy of African-American poets and jazz musicians from South Los Angeles. One of the best was a "The Dark Tree" by Steven Isoardi. In my next column I will go into greater detail on why this is such a great book.
In the meantime let me just say that the legacy of community artists in South Los Angeles is a rich tradition: "Generations of poets, generations of musicians." This poem is a tribute to unsung Kings and Queens of Los Angeles.
- A Los Angeles Primer
- Arrival Stories
- Block by Block
- Engaging Spaces
- Green Justice
- I Am Los Angeles