South L.A. church honors Black History Month with art exhibit, candlelight vigil on racial injustice

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A South Los Angeles church held a special candlelight vigil on Sunday in honor of Black History Month.

Park Hills Community Church in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood held an hour-long candlelight vigil as part of an art installation project, called “Angels on High,” by artist Marian Wade.

The art displayed outside of the church was created to bring awareness to more than just church members, but to an entire community, according to Wade. She said “Angels on High” remembers Black men and women who’ve lost their lives to police gunfire or to racial injustice.

“This was my vision to do something that would speak to the protests that were occurring, and the concerns about going to a protest because of COVID,” said Wade, who is also a longtime member of Park Hills Community Church. “I wanted to do something to represent and remember that all in an artistic way.” 

Wade collaborated with folks from her church community to make angel cut outs and signs displaying the names of Black men and women who’ve lost their lives in police shootings or other violence. Names like Oscar Grant, Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland and Emmett Till adorn the lawn of the church.

“I hope the conversation continues. I hope that we take this as a lesson to remember the names, have dialogues with law enforcement and with community leaders to just end the violence and that Black Lives Matter, and lives matter,” Wade said. “So we just want to make sure that we get that out there, to have the dialogue and have the conversations.”

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, church services at Park Hill Community Church are still online. Sunday’s event took place outside on the church’s lawn and marked the art installation’s last day in the View Park church, as it now heads to the Watts Learning Center, 310 W 95th Street.

For more information about the “Angels on High Project” click here

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