The Watts Tower, Magic Johnson Park and Leimert Park Village are among the attractions highlighted in the new destination guide published by the Los Angeles South Chamber of Commerce (LASCC).
Instead of emphasizing well-known sites like Hollywood, Universal Studios and Venice Beach, LASCC aimed to promote the landmarks, eateries, shopping areas and cultural centers located south of the U.S. 10 Freeway in neighborhoods such as Baldwin Hills, Compton, West Adams and Willowbrook.
The organization held a gala launch of the new guide on Sept. 4 at Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Leimert Park. Scores of people came out to receive the new guide, enjoy hors d’oeuvres by South L.A. chefs, sway to music by the Barbara Morrison Band, and receive raffle prizes donated by local business owners.
“The purpose of our guide to tell our story, showcase our businesses and highlight our communities. South L.A. has wonderful destinations, for example, Post & Beam Restaurant in the Crenshaw Plaza Mall, Mercado La Paloma in the Figueroa Corridor and the Memorial Coliseum in Exposition Park,” said Dexter McLeod, LASCC president. “We invite visitors to experience our diverse culture, food, entertainment and our rich heritage.”
The 52-page magazine outlines tourist spots in various neighborhoods as well as lists transportation options, attire and weather considerations, locations of popular murals and places where many blockbuster movies were filmed.
As Arnetta Mack, LASCC communications director, noted, many of the sites listed in their publication are omitted in the visitors guide issued by the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
“They highlighted all of the fun, fancy places around L.A., but glossed over many of the places in South L.A. We know that we’ve got lots of rich arts and culture here. We’ve got great businesses here. We’ve got entertainment venues and historical locations here, so we wanted to highlight those,” insisted Mack.
Also, the guide includes a section entitled, “Our Heritage,” which reveals the active involvement of Blacks in the founding and early history of Los Angeles. In addition, information is shared on prominent African Americans like Bridget “Biddy” Mason, founder of First AME Church of Los Angeles, and Charles and Willa Bruce, developers of Bruce’s Beach in the city of Manhattan Beach.
The new publication is part of LASCC’s mission to assist its membership with resources such as small business development, networking and advocacy. The organization also sponsors the #HOPE Foundation, which stands for “Helping Other People Everyday.”
“We’re about collaboration, community development and recycling money in our community. Business owners provide a service and that’s what LASCC does – serve our membership,” said McLeod.
Membership Chair Beatrice Williams, who encouraged businesses of all sizes to consider joining the L.A. South Chamber, invited interested persons to attend the group’s online meetings on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at lasouthchamber.com.
“We have over 300 members and they include micro-businesses, start-up businesses, entrepreneurs and corporate businesses,” Williams said. “We talk to our membership, inspire them and let them know how we can provide resources.”
To obtain the L.A. South Destination Guide, visit lasouthchamber.com or call (323) 789-6224.