Los Angeles, CA–It is hard to pinpoint thriving Black communities in Los Angeles, if you are not familiar with the area. The lack of representation regarding the history of Black wealth in L.A is the inspiration behind the brand, Black Beverly Hills.
BBH’s founder, China Berry, says the luxury lifestyle brand pays homage to Black wealth in Los Angeles and communities such as View Park.
“It keeps everything alive for the younger generations who are going to want to know, what’s Black Beverly Hills? Where is Black Beverly Hills? Black Beverly Hills is the wealthiest Black community in the U.S.”
View Park is like an oasis for wealthy, Black-Angelenos. Over 1,750 homes comprise the neighborhood and people like Ike & Tina Turner even had homes in the area.
View Park was developed during the 1920’s as an upper, middle-class development that once restricted Black’s from living in the community. Los Angeles has a long history of segregation, red-lining and white only tracts and covenants, that restricted where Black’s could live and buy homes.
Within the backdrop of segregation, as well as racial tensions that often threatened violence, African-Americans still found ways to thrive through education.
It was the success of these individuals, families and pioneer’s, who created and shaped Black wealth in L.A. BBH is a brand that reminds us what it means to truly thrive despite historical challenges.
The City of Beverly Hills and The Beverly Hills Hotel do not see the importance or vision behind BBH however. They have illustrated this through two separate lawsuits. Both of which, have to do with the style of BBH’s logo and fonts.
In 2014, China received his trademark for Black Beverly Hills as well as the logo; an oil pump which is synonymous with the oil field also located near View Park.
“All the brand designs are a reflection of the community. When you think of Black Beverly Hill’s, Ladera Heights and View Park, the biggest landscapes are the oil pumps,” Berry explains.
“A lot of people I knew were getting incentives for oil being underneath their homes. Another nickname for BBH was golden ghetto and they call oil Black gold, so I wanted to tie that in there.”
A year after receiving his trademark, he received a lawsuit after Beverly Hill’s City Council voted to sue his brand.
Berry reached an agreement with the City of Beverly Hills in 2015. Soon after, him and his team moved forward with business as usual. At the end of last year however, Berry received another suit.
“They [Beverly Hills Hotel] say we are infringing on the trademark, which is a stylized font. Opposed to Beverly Hills City Council, they said we were infringing on the shield.”
Berry’s ties to View Park go back to his great, great aunt. She purchased the house that his mother was raised in. His family also still own multiple properties in View Park.
Berry relayed that home values in the area are soaring and that View Park has not been exempt from new faces in the neighborhood, during the gentrification process happening in L.A. When asked if his family is thinking about selling soon, Berry replied, “Heck no,” while laughing.
He said he feels that his brand is such a problem to the stakeholders of Beverly Hills because of the word Black and he feels this second suit is just lawyers being greedy.
Currently, Berry is working on a press release with his lawyers.
“This time around, I want to put up more of a fight because I don’t want anybody to dictate what we can and can’t do,” Berry said. “I’m not going to get bullied by a big corporation.”
Check out More: https://blackbh.com
Photos: Black Beverly Hills