race2 - Imran Hossain Writ 140 Alicia Garnica Assignment#2...

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Imran Hossain Writ 140 Alicia Garnica 2/24/08 Assignment #2 Los Angeles is a land rife with diversity. From the rich Latino culture to the glamour and glitz of Hollywood, L.A. has been described as a melting pot of different cultures, races, and lifestyles. However, rather than the notion of a melting pot, Los Angeles is better described as a “salad” in which there are many different races and cultures, but they don’t necessarily combine with each other. In general, everyone’s place in L.A. is well-defined: Latinos and blacks live in the inner city areas, but not necessarily in the same area, whites live in the Hills and more expensive areas, and Asians live in their respective areas, with a few exceptions. Certain areas even have the names of the ethnicity that the area is bound to: Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Little Ethiopia, etc. These racially and class defined boundaries have served as an economic and social barrier for those living in less fortunate areas. There are many examples of how this has happened over the years in the city of Los Angeles. The housing disparities in Los Angeles can be clearly seen by the differences in, for example, Compton and Beverly Hills. Housing discrimination, restrictive covenants, and interracial hatred have been the major impetus’ in creating these “geographies of difference” and maintaining the white populations privileged status in society.
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In the early 1920s, Compton, California was one of the most coveted areas in Los Angeles. Land values were good and the city was the flourishing, kids were playing in the street without worry of being shot and everything was “picture perfect” as far as the standard suburban area was concerned. However, when one thinks of Compton today, this is not the picture that comes to mind. Rather, one thinks of the Compton popularized by Gangsta rap, the Compton where N.W.A was founded, the Compton with the highest crime rate in the nation, the Compton with Bloods and Crips constantly at battle. But how did this happen? How could the most prized suburban jewel in the Los Angeles area become a symbol for violence, filth, and poverty over the span of just a few years? The driving factors behind Compton’s demise are rooted in social and economic transformation: de jure
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race2 - Imran Hossain Writ 140 Alicia Garnica Assignment#2...

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