Last evening, the Black History Month Event in Culver City was a powerful and emotional celebration of Black joy, culture, and history. The event was hosted by Vice-Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, School Board Member Triston Ezidore, and Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove at a small business bookstore called Village Wells.

The venue was transformed into an art gallery that showcased the incredible artwork of 18 Black high school students from Culver City Unified School District. The space was overflowing with joy, laughter, and tears as the community came together to celebrate the achievements and creativity of these young artists.

During the event, Vice-Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin delivered a moving speech in which she quoted from Bell Hooks’ book, “All About Love.” She spoke about the power of love and how it can be used to combat racism and inequality in our society. Her words resonated with the audience, inspiring hope and a renewed sense of purpose.

The event was also attended by many of the student artists and their families, who were honored with certificates of recognition from State Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, State Assemblyman Isaac Bryan, and LA County Assessor Jeffrey Prang. These certificates celebrated the students’ creativity and their contributions to the arts, as well as their focus on self-identity and culture in the Art & Culture course at Culver City High School.

The evening also featured an emotional spoken word performance by high school senior Leah Johnson, who spoke about the Black experience in America. Her powerful words brought the room to tears, including School Board Member Triston Ezidore, who spoke about the importance of empowering young Black artists and supporting their work.

Said Ezidore about the importance of seeing the artwork displayed at the event, “It is a powerful symbol of the creativity and talent that exists within our black student community, and serves as a source of inspiration for future generations. For me, personally, seeing the artwork created by black students is a reminder of the incredible resilience and perseverance that we as a community have demonstrated throughout history.” He then added, “It is a celebration of our culture, our achievements, and our contributions to society, and it is a testament to the strength and beauty of the black experience. By showcasing student artwork, we are not only honoring the creativity and talent of our students, but we are also creating a space where black students feel seen and valued.”

The event gave away free gift bags that contained the book “1619,” Black History Month-themed stickers, and buttons in collaboration with Planned Parenthood LA. The catering was provided by a small, Black-owned catering business called Frat Boy Cuisine.

Overall, the Culver City Black History Month Event was a beautiful and inspiring celebration of Black culture, creativity, and resilience. It reminded us of the power of love, community, and art to bring us together and create positive change in the world.

Photo Courtesy of the Honorable Triston Ezidore

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