Janae Green, a Southside Chicago native, tells the history of South LA with her guided tours. (Courtesy photo)

If you are a transplant who lives in L.A. or a current resident and want a tour of the heart of South L.A., Janae Green has something just for you. Green has launched “A Great Day in South LA,” which is an immersive three-hour Black History tour that explores iconic landmarks such as Crenshaw/Baldwin, Leimert Park, Hyde Park, View Park, West Adams, and Historic Central Avenue.

Owned and operated by Janae Green, the tours occur every Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The mission is to enlighten, inspire, offer a deeper understanding and appreciation of African American culture and honor the staples of the South L.A. community.

Green has called Los Angeles home for the past 10 years after moving from her hometown on the Southside of Chicago. She always knew she would end up in Los Angeles, calling it the “hub of entertainment.” She wanted to get involved in some capacity, but wasn’t sure how or of what volume, but she desired to find out.

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“I eventually came here to finish my Master’s degree – Masters of Entertainment Industry Management from Carnegie Mellon University,” she stated. “Once I graduated, I started interning with NBC Universal and HBO, and eventually landed a role at HBO.”

The inspiration behind Green’s launch of the tour business was because she is a hobby historian. Outside of her business, she is a film producer, writer, and researcher whose primary job is in the film and tech industry as a producer and program manager.

“Even though I wear a number of hats, they all point back to my love of Black History. Being a grandchild of people who migrated to Chicago during the Great Migration in the 1940s, this history is personal, and after having done tours now, I’m intrigued at how people seemed to light up when they get new information about the NAACP (yes, it was new information for a few riders), Golden State Mutual, Biddy Mason, etc.,” she highlighted.

(Courtesy photo)

A Great Day in South LA was launched in March 2024, and so far, has done a mix of small and large group rides. Green is the guide and does historical storytelling on the tour, informing participants about notable Black influences, places, and events.

Her passenger van fits up to 12 guests and rides through Los Angeles streets giving various facts about famous people and places including Paul R. Williams, the Dunbar Hotel, Lincoln Theater, Sugar Hill, L.A. Sentinel, California Eagle and Charlotta Bass, the original Fatburger, Wilfandel Club, and much more.

There is also a snack stop at the 27th Street Bakery for guests to purchase baked goods. So far, Janae has had guests in groups of 2, 5, and 11.

“I’ve noticed that it’s a great bonding experience for everyone and I hope to keep up that momentum,” she said. “We are just starting off, so it’s been a slow and steady kind of day with all of this.”

Green calls South LA her home now, so she is personally invested in highlighting the many historical gems here locally. What she loves most is seeing her “explorers” – what she calls her guests – as they light up at the new information they heard.

“One explorer asked me what the NAACP was when we talked about the Dunbar Hotel and the Second Baptist Church,” she emphasized.

“Another explorer learned about Biddy Mason for the first time and her path from enslaved to real estate mogul as we rode through Sugar Hill (West Adams).”

Green continued with her proud moments and memorable highlights of the tour also stating that someone visiting from the Bay Area whispered to her that the tour made her feel proud to be Black. These are all moments that enforce her “why” making her feel very honored that she is able to tell these historical stories. She also said that revelations not only happen for her guests on the tour, but also for herself.

“Yes, please tell me more about how you would get in that long line for a late-night hamburger at the original Fatburger stand on Western,” she stated.

“It is what inspires me to keep telling these stories over and over again in hopes that the information continues to reach new learners and audiences and won’t get lost with time.”

(Courtesy photo)

Her goal was and still is to continue her role as a producer. Also, she has worked on set in various capacities including production assistant, production coordinator, and sustainability coordinator. She desires to lean into being an independent producer creating work that resonates with her “get it done” spirit as a creative and storyteller.

“Being a producer is project-based, so I can take time off here and there to go shoot a film. Mostly everything that I currently have on my plate is in development (meaning that we have to perfect the scripts, pitch them, raise funds, find crew, and shoot). I have three feature films and three shorts in this pipeline which are all at various stages.

“We are still an independent team of writers, directors, and producers, but it’s nice that we are building a body of work ready for when a studio is ready to write a check,” she said.

Green keeps herself busy and has recently wrote a book, “Pages from the Green Book,” which is a fiction she is still shopping to agents. She is currently working on her next book, a historical nonfiction, about Black influences in the 63 national parks. She also is still producing films and had a recent short film, “Choices,” play in the Pan African Film Festival this year, of which she is very proud.

There is always something new for everyone to learn about the city of Los Angeles and Green wants to ensure that the untold stories aren’t forgotten and we are all educated about it.

Tickets can be purchased on www.agreatdayinsouthla.com, via the “book now” button.

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