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geogpaper2 - A Bright Light Out Of a Dim Past 3 Unlike...

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A Bright Light Out Of a Dim Past 3) Unlike other colleges and universities once located in South Central, USC did not leave the neighborhood after the 1965 Watts Riots. And in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising, the university enhanced its commitment to social justice, vowing to be a community participant rather than a fortress. Focusing on one of the following -- K-12 education, OR law, OR health -- explain how USC has fulfilled its commitment since 1992. What would you propose to the education, legal, or health communities (on and off campus) to improve these commitments and relationships? Los Angeles is known to most as a highly populated and dramatic metropolis, portrayed with the glamorous aspect of Hollywood along with the dilapidated communities of Skid Row. Yet to understand these extremes that Los Angeles reveals, one must learn the rich but often misunderstood past of the city. From the citrus labor plantations to the development of suburban communities, each historical event holds importance as to how the city grew to favor segregation and hold out on equality throughout the 1900’s. With the 1965 Watts Riots and Los Angeles Uprising breaking out as a response to the racial tension that built up among the angry blacks in the city, Los Angeles has begun to turn its historical past of racial segregation around and commit itself to creating a diversified and equal community. As an integral part of Los Angeles, USC has actively participated in the project to revamp the city’s poor communities and in particular, has tried to improve education with those outside the university through a series of instructive programs offered to give back to those today who were so unfairly restricted from this privilege in the past. As segregational policies against blacks worsened and further restricted them from equal housing and education, racial tensions heightened between the black and white citizens of Los Angeles. In November of 1964, a proposal in Proposition 14 overturned
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the Rumford Fair Housing Act which called for the equality of black home buyers (Reitman). With this, the black population migrated eastward towards the city of Watts and South Central L.A. since it was easier there to purchase property while the more affluent Caucasians moved westward towards the ocean and hills (Fulton, p.289). With this new division of neighborhoods, blacks were ultimately denied access to the “same level of services that equivalent white neighborhoods received” (Fulton, p.290), further lowering the black’s quality of life as, for one, more black children were prohibited from the white school districts that unmistakably held better education than those found in their own cities. While the suppression and unjust treatment of blacks heightened,
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