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In South L.A., a Common Front to Fend Off Gentrification

Could this long-neglected neighborhood be “the future of multiracial organizing”?
A storefront in South L.A. shows the neighborhood's diverse culture.
A storefront in South L.A. shows the neighborhood's diverse culture.Walter Thompson-Hernandez

South L.A, as it’s known today, has long been a neighborhood in flux: The area, bound by Interstate 10 in the north, the Alameda Corridor in the east, the Baldwin Hills on the west, and Imperial Highway in the south, has gone from majority white, to black, and now to Latino. While its black and Latino residents today have independent racial and ethnic identities, they share common ground—literally. And that has helped them create a united front with respect to challenges like racism, police brutality, economic inequality, and of course, gentrification.

That’s what Manuel Pastor, director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at University of Southern California, and his colleagues discovered while researching their recent report. “South L.A. is the future of L.A. in many different ways,” Pastor said in a Wednesday press call. “It’s actually the future of multiracial organizing in L.A., in California, and in the nation.”