SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — A new park in downtown Santa Monica hosted the unveiling of a historically significant art sculpture Tuesday meant to tell the history of the Black community in the area.
The Historic Belmar Park, located at 1855 Main St., was dedicated Tuesday with the unveiling of a red sculpture in the form of a shotgun house, reminiscent of the early 20th century homes in the Belmar neighborhood, an early African American settlement in Santa Monica.
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The sculpture, “A Resurrection in Four Stanzas,” was created by artist April Banks as part of the Belmar History + Art project, honoring this neighborhood and the lives of the people who lived there and marking the site of this historical injustice.
Residents and African American-owned businesses thrived in the area between 1900 and 1950 until the land was taken over by the city by means of eminent domain to make way for the new Santa Monica Civic Center campus.
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The Historic Belmar park is now nearly four acres that features a walking path and soccer fields, along with the historic panels and sculpture.
Residents are encouraged to see the bit of history come back to the area.
“For our community, it means so much,” said Santa Monica resident Robbie Jones. “It means acknowledgment. It means inclusion, that we feel connected now.”
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This Sunday at 3 p.m., the park will have its virtual grand opening for the public via zoom. Visit santamonica.gov for more information.