Beats & Rhymes: Watts to Leimert Park

'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.

About the Author

Third-generation Angeleno Mike "The Poet" Sonksen is a poet, journalist, historian, tour guide, and teacher.
RSS icon


Neighborhood Notes: Who Will Be in Charge of Famous Olvera St. Mural & More


L.A. River Excursion: Sepulveda Basin's East and West Bank, Balboa Blvd. to Burbank Blvd.

LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment  

Funding provided by
Boeing logo Dept of Cultural Affairs logo Cal Humanities logo City of Los Angeles logo Art Works logo California Endowment logo