Nadia Calmet lead the crowd in Afro-Peruvian dances. (Ricky Richardson photo)

By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

        (Los Angeles)-Leimert Park Village was Lit. It was on and crack-a-lackin during the monthly Art Walk. Founded by Ben Caldwell, of KAOS Network in the Summer of 2010. The monthly gathering has continued to thrive ever since. The Leimert Park Art Walk take place in Leimert Park Village, the hub of African American culture in Los Angeles. 

        July 25, 2021- The Mighty Queens of the Afro-diaspora was honored. The occasion, International Day of Women of African Descent. In 1992, Black women from 32 different Latin American and Caribbean countries united in the Dominican Republic to fight racism and sexism they face. The day became known as The International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women Day. Every year on July 25th, the world comes together to celebrate Black Women. The day is accepted by UNESCO and other international organizations and celebrates all women of African descent across the diaspora. The day aims to make Afro-descendant women visible and promote public policies that help improve their quality of life and eradicate racism and discrimination.

        Locally, the event in Leimert Park featured a stellar international line-up of women percussionists, vocalists, and dancers. The group consisted of Nikki Campbell, Panama, Aura Vasquez, Colombia, Nadia Calmet, Peru, Dorsay Dujon, Brazil, Kati Hernandez, Cuba. An enthusiastic crowd gathered outside of KAOS Network, on the People’s Street Plaza for an afternoon of spirit filled, Spiritual drumming, singing, chanting, poetry reading and spoken word performances to educate and engage the audience about the importance of the day. The program also honored and featured Melissa Shepherd, Author/Educator, Janise Miller, Writer/Poet and Dr. Amina Humphrey, Artivist. Dr. Amir Whitaker (Director/Founder of Project Knucklehead) wore multiple hats- he served as Master of Ceremonies, sound engineer, musician, photographer, and videographer.

        The Leimert Park Art Walk is an event that branches out to include culture, art, music, food, and community. The Art Walk was held along 43rd Place and Degnan Blvd, from 2:00-8:00pm. Attendees enjoyed engaging children’s activities. Several known and emerging artists had their crafts on display throughout the day. Additional activities of the day featured an international vendor marketplace and the popular Leimert Park Drum circle. The Art Walk has showcased a variety of music genres in the past-Pop, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop and Spoken Word. 

        On a related note, Save the date for the South Central Innervisions, An Afro Latinx Futurism. July 31, 2021, 12pm-8pm at Mercado La Paloma. Visit www.innervisionsla.com for more information.

Kati Hernandez leads the crowd in Afro-Cuban dances. (Ricky Richardson photo)
Ben Caldwell and Nikki Campbell (Ricky Richardson photo)