When Venice founder Abbot Kinney died in 1920, he left his private home to his long-time chauffeur and companion Irving Tabor. Tabor's family had moved from Louisiana to California at the turn of the 20th century and relocated to Sixth Street in Oakwood, where blacks were allowed to inhabit. Tabor's niece, Navalette Baily, and her cousin, Jataun Valentine are the only remaining residents from that first wave of migration from the South. The women are a living memory of the hope and aspirations of their family, and testament to the ways in which the black community has adapted to change in Oakwood.
From Louisiana to Venice
Abbot Kinney gave everyone a chance to make a living. If you would work, you had a job.”
We knew what was going on, but it didn't bother us because there were so many things we could do. We could go to the movies. We couldn't sit down in the loud seats, but we could go up in the balcony, and we had a lot of fun because all our friends were up there.”
We're used to being a close-knit community, but now you don't know your neighbors. Venice looks like a fortress - it's not the beautiful, pretty community it used to be.”
Gangs & Drugs
Once the price went down, drugs were easy money, and people didn't want to do 9-to-5 jobs.”