AV - Sun Village
Historically Black town in AV
Sun Village, CA – Antelope Valley has seen many changes over the decades, including the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Back in the old days, as the pioneers would say, Black people were not allowed to live or buy property in Palmdale or Lancaster. Black migrants were subject to the most underdeveloped and least fertile land of the Antelope Valley, settling in a place they called Sun Village in the late 1940s.
The small town of about 1,000 acres is located within the confines of Avenue Q from the north, Avenue T from the south, 103rd Street from the east and 82nd Street from the west. It’s easy to pass the Village up when on your way to Littlerock, which is a close neighbor. But the town is filled with years of history.
James Brooks, president of the Sun Village town council, says the small community has come a very long way.
“When we got here, it wasn’t like a Mecca. There were no streets, no streetlights, no water, and no gas. The people had to fight for it,” Brooks said. “When people would go down to the valley or L.A. for the day, if it got too dark, they had to turn around because they couldn’t find their way home.”
Now Sun Village has several paved roads, streetlights, and town establishments. Jackie Robinson Park, one of the town’s must see landmarks, holds a history all its own. The Sun Village Women’s Club gave Jackie Robinson Park, which is 14 acres and fully equipped with a community center, gymnasium, apparatus and baseball diamond, to the county. In 1965, Jackie Robinson himself dedicated the property along side former mayor Larry Chimbole, former county Supervisor Warren Dorn, former Lancaster Honorary Mayor Neta Deeter Rephun, and Norman Johnson, former L.A. County director of parks and recreation.
Eugene Washington a 25-year resident of Sun Village was the town council’s first president in 1992. He says establishing the town was no easy task. Establishing boundaries has been one of the main battles for Sun Village. Washington and other Village residents have been battling an aggressive push from Littlerock’s officials to absorb the land. He says back in the day, the people of Littlerock wanted nothing to do with Sun Village
“There were virtually no lights in the beginning,” Washington said. “Now Black folks fought to get street lights, paved roads and then they want to come in and take it over.”
He says there is so much more the town needs, but while battles continue to tie up the energies of the town council. Vision keeps the town alive, however.
“We have vision,” Brooks said proudly. “We have a lot of history here. It’s the people, it’s such a beautiful place to come because there’s friendly people. Yes we’re country, but it’s refreshing because there is no pretense.”
Brooks added that the town council wants to build up Sun Village, but keep its small town feel with “ma and pa” shops, specialty stores and music and food spots. He says obstacles will persist as long as Sun Village continues to fight.
A history from the mouths of Sun Village pioneers will be presented at the next town hall meeting on Monday, Feb. 22 starting at 7p.m. at the William Shaw Building, located at Avenue Q-10 and 97th Street East. The public is welcome.
Every time I see a march or rally, I think of the rally of all rallies, which was the 1963 March on Washington. Forty-nine years later, there is nothing that equals that march, not in participation, nor in results.
These days, folks march to make a point, but back in the day, we marched to get legislative action.
Jackie Robinson Park in Sun Village hosted the Southern California Association’s USA Boxing Inc. annual Boxing Club Show on Sunday. Clubs from across the valley, Santa Clarita, Inland Empire, and as far away as San Diego came to pit their boxers against others in the ring.
The main gym at the park was nearly full of spectators. Friends, family, and fellow club members turned out to cheer on their fighters.
The A.V. community showed up hungry and in a festive mood for the annual Juneteenth celebration at Jackie Robinson Park in Sun Village last weekend. Presented by Friends of Jackie Robinson Park and Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, the event was billed as a “weekend of unity, sun, music, faith, food, and love.”
SUN VILLAGE, Calif.—The Friends of Jackie Robinson Park will host the 16th annual Sun Village Juneteeth Celebration in honor of 146 years of African American freedom.
It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemorative holiday honoring the end of slavery in the U.S.
June 19, or Juneteeth, provides a day of reflection and empowerment as African Americans across the country recognize the outstanding accomplishments and successes that Blacks have achieved.
Hundreds are expected to swarm on Sun Village to take part in those festivities.
My fascination with the Beltway media started back in 2007. As a result, I became more attentive to the workings of the United States government. Then the 2008 presidential campaign season started and the news outlets got worked up into a frenzy. There was round-the-clock coverage of the latest drama or issue deemed controversial. The focus was on politics and not policy.