Leimert Park preserves and celebrates Black culture with weekly marketplace

Over the years, the marketplace has grown becoming not only a place to congregate, but also a community resource.
LEIMERT PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Leimert Park has historically been a mecca for Black culture and a place where the community can come together. For the last few decades, Sunday has been the day for the African Marketplace and Drum Circle.

"This market place derived out of necessity," said Nekia Hattley, a market manager for the event. "It was out of survival. A lot of the vendors that we have out here came together as a community, as a village."

Over the years, the marketplace has grown becoming not only a place to congregate, but also a community resource. There are street and food vendors, food giveaways and there are also mental health and wellness booths.

"We have been able to get some Sundays hundreds of people to come out, some Sundays thousands of people to come out," said Billion Godsun, a lead organizer for the event. "But either way, people are finding that this is an opportunity they want."

Event organizers say they believe continuing the tradition is important especially because of the gentrification they see happening in nearby communities. They want to make sure they preserve and protect the existing culture.

"We've been inside for a year and a half," said Stephanie Powell, a market visitor. "So, to have some place like Leimert Park as a resource for kids and older people, people my age, to just be out and just see images of our culture, have women that can speak to my daughter and teach her how to do things outside of YouTube is a huge a plus."

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