We have partnered with the Los Angeles Explorers Club to develop a series of self-guided bike tours in and around LA. See below for descriptions, and download maps and audio at http://www.laexplorersclub.com/self-guided-tours.

Daily Life in Early LA

Daily Life in Early Los Angeles” is a self-guided bike tour through nineteenth-century Mexican LA. We’re not gonna lie: 19th century Mexican LA was neither idyllic, egalitarian, or anti-racist, but it’s important to understand that it WAS here and that the version of California history that you might have learned in grade school - the version that kids are STILL learning in Los Angeles public schools - is part of a deliberate and concentrated attempt to erase that history and replace it with what scholars have described as either a “Fantasy Spanish Heritage” or a “Fantasy Anglo Past.” Whatever you call it, it devalues people of color, depicts them as marginal outsiders, and justifies discrimination and racial violence. We hope this ride untangles some of those threads.

Philanthropic Life of Arcadia Bandini Stearns de Baker

The second collaboration from Picturing Mexican America and the Los Angeles Explorers Club highlights how the charitable life of Arcadia Bandini Stearns de Baker laid the foundations for what became the city of Santa Monica. Many of you, we’re sure, have strolled along the beach in Santa Monica or hopped on the freeway near the Veteran’s Administration complex, but you may not know the area’s rich and interesting past, much of it involving, or thanks to, Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker. You might think of Santa Monica as the Berkeley of Los Angeles, but it had racial covenants, segregated beaches and its fair share of discrimination. It’s just fascinating that this mostly white city with a kind of racist history was made possible through a Mexican woman’s philanthropy.