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Here’s a List of Black-Owned Businesses and Organizations to Support in O.C.

Lasting and meaningful change starts within our own communities. You can make a positive impact by patronizing these local Black-owned businesses and donating to organizations that are helping improve the lives of Black residents in O.C.


Amour Propre
Mission Viejo, 562-335-5947

Aosa Coffee
Huntington Beach, 714-840-5700

Beale’s Texas BBQ
Huntington Beach, 562-588-3070

Carla Rae Photography
714-273-6292, iwanabnpix@aol.com

C Dobbs
Newport Beach, 949-427-2321

CCC Acting Studio
Garden Grove, 714-710-1053

Cloud 9 Bakers
San Juan Capistrano, 949-388-8311


Flawless Wedding Events

Fork in the Road Catering
Costa Mesa, 562-252-6923

Georgia’s Restaurant
Anaheim, 714-906-1900

Gram’s Kitchen
La Palma, 657-255-4036

Hambone’s BBQ Bar & Grill
Huntington Beach, 714-968-1261

K.O. Dog Training
San Juan Capistrano, 949-391-0206

Laguna Candles
Laguna Beach, 949-680-8444

Lucky Black Skin Solutions

Made by Yub
Costa Mesa, 562-354-1331

McClain Cellars
Laguna Beach, 805-426-4441

Munchies Diner
Santa Ana

Naughty Panda
Santa Ana

Protein Lab
Buena Park, 714-503-0775

Rock City Climbing
Anaheim Hills, 714-777-4884

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
Anaheim, 714-823-4130

Sandra Johnson Designs
Anaheim Hills

Sporty Cuts
Irvine, 949-387-2444

The Fuel Shack
San Clemente, 949-388-4015

The Nest
Garden Grove

Tico Rico
San Clemente

Tribute Coffee House
Garden Grove, 714-852-3005

Here is a Google spreadsheet of other local Black-owned restaurants by O.C. food influencers @lovetram and @nonstopeats.


Orange County Bail Fund

100 Black Men of Orange County

Black Chamber of Orange County

Orange County African American Community Center Inc.

Young Black Professionals of Orange County

Orange County Heritage Council, which organizes the annual OC Black History Parade & Unity Festival

OC Realtist

Further Reading and Resources:

Radical Thinker At UC Irvine Spreads Afropessimism Wherever He Goes
A radical thinker helming the African American Studies department at UC Irvine, Frank B. Wilderson III is an award-winning author, professor, and public intellectual.

Meet L. Song Richardson, New Dean of UCI’s School of Law
A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School and a faculty member at the UC Irvine School of Law since 2014, she is one of the nation’s leading experts on the complex and politically charged issue of racial bias and the criminal justice system.

The Rap Bias
With the national debate on race relations as a backdrop, we talk with UC Irvine professor Charis Kubrin about her research on rap music and the judicial system. Is there really justice for all?

‘Yonder they do not love your flesh’: Mourning, Anti-Blackness, and Claiming All of Us
A webinar hosted by UCI Humanities meant to “reflect on the persistence of anti-black violence and harm during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Have a local Black-owned business or organization you think we should add to this list? Leave a comment below.

Laguna Hills Bakery Offers Organic and Gluten-Free Bread

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

AWG Bakery in Laguna Hills specializes in organic, gluten-free, and grain-free bread ($14 to $15). The vegan and paleo loaves come in three varieties—everyday, cinnaspice, and rosemary—and are packaged in compostable bags. Pro tip: Toast your slice for the best texture. Order online at awgbakery.com or pick up at select O.C. retailers. 949-354-6550

4 Questions with Owner Hanna Lane

What inspired you to launch AWG Bakery?
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and autoimmune issues. I decided to put my energy into learning about the healing powers of anti-inflammatory foods and embracing a Paleo lifestyle. I loved bread and knew we had to part ways but it would not be for long! I was determined to create a bread that met all my dietary limitations, something I could not find on the market. After a year of testing, I finally perfected this unique, organic grain-free bread that everyone can eat. I’m so excited to share my bread that you will actually feel good about eating, has beneficial nutrients, and tastes fantastic!

How were you able to perfect the recipe?
AWG Bakery makes organic gluten and grain-free bread that is vegan and paleo. Our bread is extremely unique and unlike any breads out there. When choosing our ingredients it was so important for us to have a high standard and choose organic. Our customers have referred to our bread as life-changing and have said this is how bread should taste! People that have not eaten bread for years can now eat bread again because it checks all of the boxes. When we hear things like this, this is the reason we started the company!

Why do you recommend toasting the bread?
Toasting the bread brings out the flavor and makes it soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. It does not have to be toasted but highly recommended!

Where can we find your bread?
The best way to find the bread is on our website. We ship nationwide and offer pick up at our shop in Laguna Hills. You can check us out on Instagram @awgbakery for recipe ideas and toastspiration!

South Coast Plaza Delays Opening Due to Recent Events

As a precautionary measure due to uprisings happening in southern California and around the country, South Coast Plaza announced on their Facebook and Instagram pages that they are delaying the planned June 1st opening to a later date.

Anaheim Sign Language Interpreter On Translating COVID-19 News On Live TV

What’s it like interpreting O.C. press conferences?
I’m used to standing in front of a judge. He or she says three words, and I already know the rest of the paragraph because I’ve been doing this for a hundred years. But I’d never done anything live on television before.

What are the challenges?
There are lots of technical words or phrases that don’t have a direct translation in sign. Like PPE for personal protective equipment. I have to do an expansion, signing “masks, gloves, gowns, sanitizers.” I’m constantly thinking of these things: word meanings, sign choices, and (whether) I have enough time to slip in that quick explanation.

Are you worried at all for your own safety?
Not only me, but everyone in the press conference room has a sense of, we are now in a closed environment. We try our best to distance. I take precautions. I’m in that over-65 category—I’m 70—so I don’t take it lightly. At the same time, there’s this internal responsibility. I mean how are deaf people going to know about this if somebody isn’t relaying it to them?

On a different note, you once interpreted for President Reagan. What was that like?
First of all (laughs), there was social distancing then, too. I was standing next to the podium, and the Secret Service decides, nah, too close. Two of them placed themselves between me and the president. I’d set a water bottle on the floor and every time I leaned down to get it, so did they. It was funny and scary at the same time. I was afraid to make a wrong move!

Watch recorded sessions of Seshie’s interpreted news conferences on her website, dhterps.com.

O.C.’s Own Stephanie Danler Follows Bestselling Novel ‘Sweetbitter’ With a Memoir

“Stray” is Danler’s account of growing up in north O.C. with alcohol- and drug-addicted parents and her struggles as an adult to cope with the damage. Brave, clear-eyed, and at times heartbreaking, it took shape after Danler moved from New York to Los Angeles, finished work on the TV series, and started a family of her own.

What were the highlights of working on the series “Sweetbitter”?
I liked the collaboration aspect, which is so different from writing a novel—getting to work with so many brilliant artists, from the art department to the actors to the other writers in our writers’ room. I would have loved to have worked with those people every day for the next 20 years, and getting to have that experience felt like a miracle. It didn’t have to do with me or my talent, to be honest. It was the right time for that story, and it took on a life of its own.

Was “Stray” emotionally difficult to write?
Of course. In order to write, you have to relive it and try to remember how scared, confused, or wounded you were as a child. It’s incredibly painful. And then you’re supposed to snap out of it as soon as you leave the room where you’re writing. Which is generally impossible. It was a very confusing time to be writing about this darkness. My son was 5 months old when I started this version of this book. It was very confusing to go from the joy of being in a new family and also go backward, constantly, to a time when I could never imagine having my own family.

Did you consider addressing your family’s dysfunction in fiction?
I did. I would have been a lot more comfortable calling this a novel. But at the end of the day, I do feel accountable to the people I’m writing about to be telling the truth. If you are going to say, “My mother was an alcoholic. My father was a drug addict. Here are the hard, sometimes abusive situations I was in,” I wanted to make sure that it was fact, and that no reader might think that I had stacked the emotional stakes.

Can you talk about what role the California landscape plays in the book?
The book wouldn’t exist without me having a reckoning with my home in my birth state. I left when I was 16, I moved back when I was 31, and I was really blown away by the richness and complexity and depth. I think I had written it off. Also, as a child, there’s something really reductive in the way that you see your home. So coming back and realizing that there is weather, seasons are changing, that there are Santa Anas and October is our hottest month and the entire month of June is gray—things that totally escaped me as a child.

A List of Can’t-Miss Virtual Events in June

Check out more of Nellie Gail Moulton’s paintings at Moulton Museum’s virtual exhibit. casaromantica.org/who-was-nellie-gail-moulton/

Virtual Events

Casa Romantica, San Clemente
Dance classes, wellness classes, instruction for kids, plus virtual exhibits and book clubs all in one place. casaromantica.org/live-virtually

Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach
Regularly refreshed “Play at Home” collection of videos featuring performances by and interviews with regular Playhouse artists. lagunaplayhouse.com/laguna-play-at-home

Musco Center, Orange
Talks and performances from on-stage entertainers and backstage staff via livestream and recorded video. muscocenter.org

Orange County Museum of Art
Audio and video programming about art and artists under four categories—listen, learn, watch, relax—along with live programming with local artists every Thursday. ocmaexpand.org

Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa
“Center at Home”—a slate of virtual acting, music, and dance classes, as well as performance highlights from shows. videos.scfta.org

South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa
Pacific Playwrights Festival panel, “Meet a Theater Pro” interviews with people who work behind the scenes at SCR, and other videos relating to past performances. facebook.com/SouthCoastRepertory

Scheduled In-Person Events (as of June 2nd)

Noted for his paintings depicting the colorful California landscape, Redmond is considered one of the best artists of his era. Featuring poppies and other native wildflowers, his work is sometimes bright and dramatic, sometimes calm and contemplative. This exhibit, with 85 paintings, is the largest ever and the first in more than 30 years of his work. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949-494-8971, lagunaartmuseum.org

Note: The following events listed here have been cancelled or postponed. Please check with each venue for the latest updates.

This dark comedy about office politics and social hierarchies tells the story of Grace and Amy, two secretaries in the same office, surrounded by unappreciative and clueless coworkers. They’re just trying to make it through the day when their boss chokes to death on an oatmeal-raisin cookie—and things really start to spiral out of control when they misplace her body. STAGEStheatre, 400 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 714-525-4484, stagesoc.org

The Newport Beach City Arts Commission will unveil 10 new sculptures in Civic Center Park at this celebration, where art aficionados can take a walking tour of the sculptures, talk with the artists about their work, and enjoy refreshments, music, and kids’ art activities. Civic Center Park, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949-717-3802

Known for her sharp commentary on gender dynamics, Cummings released her first stand-up special on Comedy Central in 2010. Since then, she’s put out three more shows on Comedy Central, HBO, and Netflix, created and starred in her own sitcom, “Whitney,” and co-created and written the Emmy-nominated “2 Broke Girls.” City National Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714-712-2700, citynationalgroveofanaheim.com

This double bill features Shang Forbes, an up-and-coming stand-up known for his political satire who’s appeared on “The Late Late Show” and HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” and Montoya, an Orange County native who’s been featured at comedy festivals across the country and regularly plays stages throughout Southern California. Irvine Improv, 527 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, 949-854-5455, irvine.improv.com

Artist Olga Lah created this site-specific installation made from reflective sheeting, Mylar, and plastic hung from the ceiling with fishing line. Viewers can walk through the work, which extends through the gallery rooms and is meant to reflect the energy and motion of the ocean. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949-498-2139, casaromantica.org

In this satirical comedy by David Macaray, NASA attempts to rekindle interest in the space program by putting together the first all-civilian crew: two men and two women, three of them billionaires and one a schoolteacher, flying to the moon together despite their lack of experience. STAGEStheatre, 400 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 714-525-4484, stagesoc.org

One of the longest-running and bestselling rock bands of all time, Chicago has been recording and performing since 1967 and has sold more than 100 million records. During this tour, the band joins forces with Rick Springfield, who’s landed 17 songs on the Top 40 list and is best known for “Jessie’s Girl.” FivePoint Amphitheatre, 14800 Chinon, Irvine, 949-988-6800, fivepointamphitheatre.com

Based on the Oscar-nominated film by the same name, this musical tells the story of a boy growing up in poverty after his mother’s death who secretly starts ballet lessons against his father’s will. He eventually wins his dad’s approval in time to audition for the Royal Ballet in London. Elton John wrote the score for the show, which won the Tony for best musical in 2009. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, 714-777-3033, chancetheater.com

Pearson, a comedian and musician, is best known for hosting Netflix’s “Historical Roasts” and Funny or Die’s “Stand Up or Die.” In this show, he plays original comedy music, accompanying himself on the piano, alongside fellow comedians. Past guests have included Tiffany Haddish, Rachel Bloom, and Chris Redd. Irvine Improv, 527 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, 949-854-5455, irvine.improv.com

More than 100 fine artists and artisans display and sell their work at this event that’s been staged every summer for the past 54 years. Offerings include traditional oil paintings, watercolors, mixed media, and prints, along with wood and steel sculpture, fiber art, ceramics, and leather work. 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949-494-4514, art-a-fair.com

Local artists and makers selling their prints, jewelry, paintings, and sculpture set up booths here every summer, and visitors browse as they stroll along the sawdust-covered paths. Guests can also lounge under the trees and listen to live music, watch glass-blowing demonstrations, and take classes in screen printing, pottery, and fused glass. 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949-494-3030, sawdustartfestival.org

Rolston, an artist, photographer, and video director, started working for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine while he was a student at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. His portraits of celebrities quickly garnered attention, and soon he was also shooting for Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and other publications. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949-494-8971, lagunaartmuseum.org

Take a Risk With This Season’s See-Through Trend

Silk dress, $5,595, Dolce & Gabbana, South Coast Plaza, 714-668-9142

Red chiffon scarf, $230, Miu Miu, South Coast Plaza, 714-617-6927


Beige square sunglasses, $440, Bottega Veneta, South Coast Plaza, 714-540-9760

Marion Parke Brooke suede lace-up mesh heels, $795, Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island,

Dorothee Schumacher transparent volume blouse, $610, Michael Nusskern, Newport Beach, 949-579-5500

Fendi Mon Tresor mini leather and mesh bucket bag, $1,690, Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island, 949-759-1900

Where to Find Family-Friendly Fare in Anaheim Hills

Note: Please call ahead to check the status of these businesses before attempting to visit. 

Photographs by Emily J. Davis

Bandeño Mexican Food
Open since November 2019, this family business serves traditional Mexican food, from tacos and burritos stuffed with carne asada, grilled chicken, and carnitas ($3 to $8) to chiles rellenos, mole, and shrimp a la diabla ($10 to $12). The kitchen cooks up pots of menudo and pozole ($8.50) on Saturdays and Sundays. 466 S. Anaheim Hills Road, 714-363-3889

Kaffeine Alley
The aesthetic at this new coffeehouse is sleek and modern, with polished concrete floors and wood tables. But the menu reveals a sense of fun; drinks include a cookie butter latte ($5.25) and a milk tea topped with Fruity Pebbles ($5.25). The cookies-and-cream waffle comes smothered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream ($6.50). 6312 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, 714-202-5731

Jackboy’s Dog Bakery
This favorite of pet lovers is known for its custom bone-shaped dog birthday cakes, but it also stocks cupcakes and cookies flavored with coconut, peanut butter, vanilla, carob, and pumpkin. Everything is made from scratch with olive oil and without artificial colors or flavors. 430 S. Anaheim Hills Road, 714-783-7939

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Hummus Bean
This location of the popular Mediterranean restaurant started serving its kebob plates late last year. They come with a choice of salmon, chicken, or beef with generous sides of rice, salad, hummus, and pita ($14 to $16) and pair well with virgin mojitos ($4). 5745 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, 714-363-3707

Good To Know
The first Hummus Bean location opened in 2017 at Center Street Promenade in Anaheim.

Local Photographer Captures Jacaranda Trees in Full Bloom in Santa Ana

The Scene A Santa Ana street lined with blooming jacaranda trees
Getting There Head to McFadden Avenue and Garnsey Street.
Explorer Credit Lupita Zambrano @lupitazambranophotography 
Behind the Shot “I was full of joy when I saw a perfect tunnel of jacaranda trees, except they weren’t in full bloom yet,” Zambrano says. “I waited about a month and planned the exact time to avoid traffic. I went early on a Saturday. Luckily for me it was overcast, which helped me avoid sunlight filtering through the trees.”