Early Black Los Angeles

Today, L.A. bears relatively few traces of its rich 19th century history. Aside from the often-overlooked Biddy Mason Memorial Park near the Bradbury Building, tributes to the city’s African American pioneers are almost nowhere to be found. 

This interactive map locates some of the most important sites in L.A.’s Black past: the courthouse in which Biddy and thirteen other women and children won their freedom; the original building for First African Methodist Episcopal Church; the locations of some of Biddy Mason’s properties, and other early Black-owned businesses. Click on each map marker to learn more about these historic points of interest. 

The map is regularly updated to incorporate our latest research discoveries. If you know of important sites in L.A.’s early African American history that aren’t included here, please get in touch and we’ll add them to the map.