Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

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Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by BlaZnPrIde310 » April 29th, 2010, 7:15 pm

Has anyone here read that book yet? Not sure if it's in retail or at the library yet, since I'm still looking to get this one. Is it recommended as well?


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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by mvwi1 » July 14th, 2010, 11:25 am

I don't know of this book, but it sounds very interesting from the title.

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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by Sentenza » July 14th, 2010, 11:29 am

Try the reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Los-Angeles ... 0814737358
“A true masterwork of urban studies. Taken together, these wide-ranging, diverse, original essays significantly expand our understanding of the African-American experience in Los Angeles. With breathtaking scope and vision, Black Los Angeles is a brilliant example of cutting-edge scholarship and a powerful corrective to the enduring image of a city of drive-by shootings and low-rise projects.”
- Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
This review is from: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities (Paperback)

This is the book I have been waiting for. I have been an avid collector of anything and everything Los Angeles, especially it's historical evolution, the heavy hitters who built it out of a pueblo, it's architecture, it's microcosms, and most significantly, it's people.

This book begins with a very well researched essay on the predominatly Black enlaves of Baldwin Hills (film maker John Singleton descibes Baldwin Hills as "the Black Greenwich Village") and a later chapter about Lemiert Park (next door to Baldwin Hills), the new 'mecca' for Black arts and cultural happenings in LA. There is great detail about these now (still fairly pristine) Black middle class residential areas once banned anyone non White from home ownership as late as 1950. I was raised in Lemiert Park, attended schools there so this compilation of "urban essays" really hit a nerve with me. I knew every place mentioned. Besides being able to relate with the good, bad and ugly aspects of "life in the Crenshaw community" (which includes Bladwin, View Park, lemiert and Ladea Heights), this excellent book also goes into great detail about other Black LA areas, like the Oakwood section in Venice, CA. and how the neighbors banned together to take control back of their area from rampant crime and drugs. Much is written about the huge post WWII migration of Blacks form the South tothat yearned for a better life in sunny LA-from Central Avenue to West Adams and then further west only to find a new style of more subtle opression. How Hollywood portrays Black life in LA. There is a fascinating chapter on how gangs (Crips in particular) formed and grew like a bad desease throughout LA County and across state lines. and how the murder rate in LA reached epidemic proportions when crack Cocaine hit the streets. Dealers quickly utliized gang members as retailers. The '65 Watts and '92 King riots are discussed in terms of not just the trigger that ignited them, but the agonizing and festering horrific LAPD law enforcement and political conditions that made two such outbusrsts ripe at two different times-proving that not a lot has changed for Blacks in Los Angeles after 27 years.

But these are just some examples. It reads well, hard to put down, the research is excellent, and this book really tells a story of a city in tatters, but with a few scant glimmers of hope for young Blacks and other minorities. It;s not really a doom & gloom read, but it states in plain speak harsh realities of living in LA.

I strongly feel this particular book should be recommended reading in high schools and local colleges. It says volumes about our way of life and is very educational.

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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by kmcox » July 15th, 2010, 1:07 pm

Ima have to grab this read

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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by alexalonso » July 20th, 2010, 3:59 am

there is an entire chapter about the history of LA Bloods and Crips in that book, a must read.


from a review:
There is a fascinating chapter on how gangs (Crips in particular) formed and grew like a bad desease throughout LA County and across state lines. and how the murder rate in LA reached epidemic proportions when crack Cocaine hit the streets. Dealers quickly utliized gang members as retailers. The '65 Watts and '92 King riots are discussed in terms of not just the trigger that ignited them, but the agonizing and festering horrific LAPD law enforcement and political conditions that made two such outbusrsts ripe at two different times-proving that not a lot has changed for Blacks in Los Angeles after 27 years.

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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by mvwi1 » July 21st, 2010, 7:07 pm

alexalonso wrote:there is an entire chapter about the history of LA Bloods and Crips in that book, a must read.


from a review:
There is a fascinating chapter on how gangs (Crips in particular) formed and grew like a bad desease throughout LA County and across state lines. and how the murder rate in LA reached epidemic proportions when crack Cocaine hit the streets. Dealers quickly utliized gang members as retailers. The '65 Watts and '92 King riots are discussed in terms of not just the trigger that ignited them, but the agonizing and festering horrific LAPD law enforcement and political conditions that made two such outbusrsts ripe at two different times-proving that not a lot has changed for Blacks in Los Angeles after 27 years.
I guess you can't talk about Black Los Angeles without mentioning the gangs.

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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by alexalonso » April 7th, 2012, 11:57 am

mvwi1 wrote:
alexalonso wrote:there is an entire chapter about the history of LA Bloods and Crips in that book, a must read.


from a review:
There is a fascinating chapter on how gangs (Crips in particular) formed and grew like a bad desease throughout LA County and across state lines. and how the murder rate in LA reached epidemic proportions when crack Cocaine hit the streets. Dealers quickly utliized gang members as retailers. The '65 Watts and '92 King riots are discussed in terms of not just the trigger that ignited them, but the agonizing and festering horrific LAPD law enforcement and political conditions that made two such outbusrsts ripe at two different times-proving that not a lot has changed for Blacks in Los Angeles after 27 years.
I guess you can't talk about Black Los Angeles without mentioning the gangs.

I wrote the chapter but never called it a disease

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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by alexalonso » August 29th, 2012, 12:57 am

A review the gang chapter
In Chapter 5, “Out of the Void: Street Gangs in Black Los Angeles,” Alex Alonso gives a detailed and enlightening examination of the formation and development of street gangs in Los Angeles starting in the 1930s to the first decade of the 2000s. Unlike previous studies on gang research, Alonso analyzes the influence of how “race, segregation and discrimination worked together to create communities that have spawned street gangs.”[12] He describes how in the late 1940s, black clubs developed as a defense mechanism to combat violent racial discrimination by whites as blacks began to move westward, out of the Central Avenue neighborhood and into predominantly white neighborhoods. White hate groups formed by white teenagers, such as the “Spook Hunters,” showed animosity toward black residents. As more blacks moved westward, black residents began to outnumber whites in the community. As whites moved out of the area, a shift took place and black clubs began to focus on each other. The author builds on the Westside-Eastside schism between African Americans discussed earlier in chapter 1, and notes how many of the clashes between black clubs stemmed from the socioeconomic disparities between groups. In the early 1960s as the neighborhood regions merged, the violence took on the characteristics of “street gang warfare”.[13] Alonso recounts the 1965 uprising and the impact on street gangs in the aftermath, most notably the system of police brutality. The author gives a detailed account of the growth of the Black Power movement in Los Angeles and the overpowering response by the federal and local government to dismantle organizations affiliated the movement. He notes that activity between gangs was almost non-existent, as an interest in social issues became the focal concern after the 1965 Watts “Riots.” As stated by Alonso, “As young black men from the streets grew more politically aware, they began to have a greater concern for the social problems that plagued their streets, helping to transform many into agents for social change during what became known as the Black Power movement.”[14]

In a narrative that was long hidden from the public for the better part of the 1980s and 1990s, Alonso breaks down the details regarding the infiltration of crack cocaine infiltrated the Los Angeles community and its ties to Nicaragua. The author concludes, “Examining the Black Los Angeles gang phenomenon from a historical perspective provides insights into the forces that contributed to the initial formation of black street gangs, as well as necessary conditions for reducing gang-related violence. At the core of early black gang formation was the desire of marginalized, low-income, young men to protect their neighborhoods and communities from the effects of racial oppression, disenfranchisement and police brutality.”[15] A particularly revealing chapter of the book, this narrative provides an excellent historiography and detailed secondary resource on the topic.
http://amsjournal.wordpress.com/2012/05 ... viewessay/

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Re: Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

Unread post by alexalonso » September 21st, 2012, 10:15 am

when the book first came out in 2010.
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