Cultural Revolution: The Watts Renaissance

1960s: Days of Rage

Inner City Cultural Center

The Art of Creative Survival: “During the 1960s and 1970s black Los Angeles produced dozens of cultural groupings that sought both to foster a new art and to generate a new relationship between creativity and community. These organizations were defined in part by their variety: theater companies like the Inner City Cultural Center and the Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles; community arts projects like the Mafundi Institute and St. Elmo Village; galleries like Brockman and Gallery 32; formal bodies like the Watts Writers Workshop and informal tendencies like the cohort of avant-garde black filmmakers who trained at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Their reach extended beyond Watts and South Los Angeles, past the city limits even. Altadena sheltered early associations of black visual artists, and it was from Pasadena that Ridhiana Saunders produced the journal Nigger Uprising. Compton was home to the…

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