During the early 1900s, Central Avenue in Los Angeles was the place to be if you were African American, an entrepreneur, and musically talented. The central location was dubbed as being the “Black belt of the city.”
This area of the city included several black-owned businesses, churches, schools, and clubs. Many African Americans flocked to their area and purchased homes and other real estate properties attempting to get in on the good life.
By the late 1920’s Central Avenue and 41st Street was the new heart of African American Los Angeles. New businesses were being started and at that time the main attractions that stood out were the Somerset Hotel, Hudson-Liddell Building, and the Golden State Mutual Insurance Building.
After witnessing the continuous growth in the area, more African Americans settled in the area. By the 1930s, there were well over 17,000 blacks living in the city and over the next ten years, over 20,000 more would join the population.
During the 1940s, their were numerous music talents popping up across the area. The origin of jazz in Los Angeles has been attributed to a number of musicians who moved to the city from New Orleans. Central Avenue is famous for its part in the development of jazz.