Monday marked the 2nd annual Caravan Through African-American History in Palm Springs.
It kicked off at 10 a.m. from the Agua Caliente Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs.
It’s a way to learn about the city’s black pioneers whose talents and perseverance overcame the prejudices of the past.
“I’m excited to see the different landmarks and learn more about the history here because we don’t really hear too much about black history here,” volunteer Ryan Buchanan said.
Dozens of cars were escorted around town by Palm Springs police as people listened to the radio for live narration of the tour. Jarvis Crawford, chairman of the Palm Springs Black History Committee, led the peloton, taking participants through several prominent city landmarks.
“It brings back memories that were shared with me by my ancestors, my grandparents and other family members talking about things that happened that I couldn’t see, but I did. learned and that I now come to share with others,” Crawford mentioned.
The caravan was introduced last year after the Black History Month parade was canceled due to the pandemic, but continues to be a fun and interactive way to learn about black history in Palm Springs.
After driving down Palm Canyon Drive, the tour made its way through the Crossley Corners neighborhood. Lawrence Crossley was a black real estate developer, who reshaped much of the landscape in the 1920s.
“Knowing this street, Crossley has a story and a person behind her and a bit of her personal development. And the interaction they had between the Indian community and the African American community and we all survived here in the Palm Springs area for a long time,” said Jesse Alexander, caravan participant.
The caravan also passed through the Desert Highland Gateway Estates, Palm Springs’ first organized neighborhood.
“It’s always good to learn about history, especially African-American history. So living in LA and coming here, I just wanted to expand my horizons in terms of palm springs and the black experience,” said attendee Drake Dillard.
The tour made its final stop at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, which is known as a social, cultural, and recreational center for residents.
“I wanted people to take away some of the great history and contributions that African Americans have made not only in the Palm Springs area, but also the African American work that has been done in society,” said Crawford.
If you want to join in the Black History celebrations, the annual parade will take place on Saturday, February 26 at 11 a.m. on Palm Canyon Drive.