This Tour of Santa Monica’s Black Historical past Makes No Apologies


Santa Monica, Calif. is a predominantly white metropolis, however it was as soon as house to the thriving Black group of Belmar, which was established in the course of the Nice Migration however destroyed within the Fifties to construct the Santa Monica Freeway and Santa Monica Civic Heart.

Indie company RPA, which has been based mostly in Santa Monica for greater than 30 years, is marking Black Historical past Month by making a strolling tour of the town referred to as Black. Not Sorry, centered on its misplaced landmarks and the Black pleasure they represented.

The company’s Black worker useful resource group What’s Good? positioned QR codes at eight spots all through the town that hyperlink to movies explaining the websites’ significance. Hosted by RPA digital producer A.C. Sanford and affiliate group supervisor of digital technique and merchandise Camille Wright, the movies had been additionally shared throughout LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram in order that people who find themselves not within the metropolis can nonetheless watch. Every video, together with the marketing campaign intro, is lower than 1 minute lengthy.

Guests to the Santa Monica Civic Heart can learn the way in 1914 it was house to La Bonita Bathhouse and Cafe, a trip vacation spot that attracted Black vacationers from across the nation. The neighborhood additionally hosted Caldwell’s Dance Corridor, a well-liked place for individuals to socialize and exhibit their model.

The tour highlights the group’s resilience, noting that Black companies just like the Ebony Seaside Membership had been created resulting from discrimination at different close by institutions. Some movies additionally emphasize the areas’ position within the Civil Proper Motion, with a code on the location of the previous Sears Roebuck retailer at 302 Colorado Ave. that noticed protests as a result of it will solely rent Black janitors, however not gross sales employees.

“We demonstrated our pleasure by wanting again on the accomplishments of the Black individuals who got here earlier than us in Santa Monica by way of a strolling tour on our socials,” RPA expertise specialist Jazmen Edwards informed Adweek. “Although a lot of the historical past in Santa Monica was misplaced, we celebrated the lives and accomplishments whereas spreading the phrase by way of QR codes throughout Santa Monica.”

What’s Good? members can even launch testimonials on the “Black. Not Sorry” theme and share the enjoyment they expertise working in promoting. Internally, the group has put collectively a studying listing that includes a ebook by a Black writer for day by day of Black Historical past Month and supporting the native Black woman-owned bookstore Reparations Membership. The company can be internet hosting a raffle benefiting Black Girls for Wellness, a nonprofit centered on increasing healthcare entry.


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