Introduction by Marrikka Trotter
June 28, 2021 at 2:00–3:00pm PT
Paul R. Williams design of Los Angeles’s First African Methodist Church is one that emphasized both function (in terms of how the structure was “used” by its congregation) and sanctuary—a holy and sacred space of safety. Built during the era of legal racial segregation and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, how can we better understand the symbolic importance of the concept of sanctuary, here, as a built structure. What’s more, how can we include Los Angeles’s African American communities as extensions of this sense of sanctuary and “structure” as racist land covenants weighed heavily on the city’s African American communities. This talk will explore these subjects, and hopefully, help explain the legal and social strictures that helped form the city we know today.
Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks is the Associate Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections (specializing in African American collections) at the Getty Research Institute. Dr. Brooks is a specialist in African American art, poetics, performance, and Africana Studies. Prior to working at the Getty, he was an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Lehman College and a curator for The Racial Imaginary Institute, founded by poet and writer Claudia Rankine. His interviews, essays on African American art, and poetry have appeared in publications for Bomb Magazine, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Spelman Museum of Art, Callaloo Journal, The International Review of African American Art, as well as The Aperture Foundation, among others.