South Los Angeles is a region in southern Los Angeles County, California, and mostly lies within the city limits of Los Angeles, just south of downtown.
In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment. Geographic regions and sub-regions are mostly described by their imprecisely defined, and sometimes transitory boundaries, except in human geography, where jurisdiction areas such as national borders are defined in law.
Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the U.S. state of California, is the most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2018. As such, it is the largest non–state level government entity in the United States. Its population is larger than that of 41 individual U.S. states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a Nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of Belgium, Norway, and Taiwan. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles (10,570 km2), it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically-diverse counties in the U.S. Its county seat, Los Angeles, is also California's most populous city and the second most populous city in the U.S., with about 4 million residents.
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, as well as a diverse residential neighborhood of some 58,000 people. A 2013 study found that the district is home to over 500,000 jobs. It is also part of Central Los Angeles.
According to the Los Angeles Times , South Los Angeles (formerly known as South-Central Los Angeles) ”is defined on Los Angeles city maps as a 16-square-mile rectangle with two prongs at the south end.”In 2003, the Los Angeles City Council renamed this area "South Los Angeles".
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It has the fourth largest circulation among United States newspapers, and is the largest U.S. newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast. The paper is known for its coverage of issues particularly salient to the U.S. West Coast, such as immigration trends and natural disasters. It has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of these and other issues. As of June 18, 2018, ownership of the paper is controlled by Patrick Soon-Shiong, and the executive editor is Norman Pearlstine.
The name South Los Angeles can also refer to a larger 51-square mile area that includes areas within the city limits of Los Angeles as well as five unincorporated neighborhoods in the southern portion of the County of Los Angeles.
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.
The City of Los Angeles delineates South Los Angeles as an area of 15.5 square miles.Adjacent neighborhoods include West Adams, Baldwin Hills, and Leimert Park to the west and the Southeast Los Angeles region of the city (the 26-neighborhood area east of the Harbor Freeway) on the east.
According to the Los Angeles Times Mapping Project , South Los Angeles comprises 51 square miles, consisting of 25 neighborhoods within the City of Los Angeles as well as three unincorporated neighborhoods in the County of Los Angeles.
Mapping L.A. is a project of the Los Angeles Times, beginning in 2009, to draw boundary lines for 158 cities and unincorporated places within the Los Angeles County, California, 114 neighborhoods within the City of Los Angeles and 42 unincorporated areas where the statistics were merged with adjacent cities.
Google Maps delineates a similar area to the Los Angeles Times Mapping Project with notable differences on the western border. On the northwest, it omits a section of Los Angeles west of La Brea Avenue. On the southwest, it includes a section of the City of Inglewood north of Century Boulevard.
Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 109,673. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. The city is in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is under construction in the city and, when completed around 2020, will be the new home of both the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The city is also close to Los Angeles International Airport.
According to the Mapping L.A. survey of the Los Angeles Times, the South Los Angeles region consists of the following neighborhoods:
In 1880, the University of Southern California, and in 1920, the Doheny Campus of Mount St. Mary's College, were founded in South Los Angeles. The 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games took place near the USC campus at neighboring Exposition Park, where the Los Angeles Coliseum is located.
Until the 1920s, the South Los Angeles neighborhood of West Adams was one of the most desirable areas of the City. As the wealthy were building stately mansions in West Adams and Jefferson Park, the white working class was establishing itself in Crenshaw and Hyde Park. Affluent blacks gradually moved into West Adams and Jefferson Park.As construction along the Wilshire Boulevard corridor gradually increased in the 1920s, the development of the city was drawn west of downtown and away from South Los Angeles.
In the eastern side of South Los Angeles (which the city calls the "Southeastern CPA") roughly east of the Harbor Freeway, the area grew southward in the late 1800s along the ever longer streetcar routes. Areas north of Slauson Boulevard were mostly built out by the late 1910s, while south of Slauson land was mostly undeveloped, much used by Chinese and Japanese Americans growing produce. In 1903, the farmers were bought out and Ascot Park racetrack was built, which turned into a "den of gambling and drinking". In the late 1910s the park was razed and freed up land for quick build-up of residential and industrial buildings in the 1920s.
At the same time, the area of modest bungalows and low-rise commercial buildings along Central Avenue emerged as the heart of the black community in southern California. Originally, the city's black community was concentrated around what is now Little Tokyo, but began moving south after 1900.It had one of the first jazz scenes in the western U.S., with trombonist Kid Ory a prominent resident. Under racially restrictive covenants, blacks were allowed to own property only within the Main-Slauson-Alameda-Washington box and in Watts, as well as in small enclaves elsewhere in the city. The working- and middle-class blacks who poured into Los Angeles during the Great Depression and in search of jobs during World War II found themselves penned into what was becoming a severely overcrowded neighborhood. During the war, blacks faced such dire housing shortages that the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles built the virtually all-black and Latino Pueblo Del Rio project, designed by Richard Neutra.
During this time, African Americans remained a minority alongside Whites, Asians, and Hispanics; but by the 1930s those groups moved out of the area, African Americans continued to move in, and eastern South LA became majority Black. Whites in previously established communities south of Slauson, east of Alameda and west of San Pedro streets persecuted Blacks moving beyond established "lines", and thus Blacks became effectively restricted to the area in between.
When the Supreme Court banned the legal enforcement of race-oriented restrictive covenants in 1948's Shelley v. Kraemer , blacks began to move into areas outside the increasingly overcrowded Slauson-Alameda-Washington-Main settlement area. For a time in the early 1950s, southern Los Angeles became the site of significant racial violence, with whites bombing, firing into, and burning crosses on the lawns of homes purchased by black families south of Slauson. In an escalation of behavior that began in the 1920s, white gangs in nearby cities such as South Gate and Huntington Park routinely accosted blacks who traveled through white areas. The black mutual protection clubs that formed in response to these assaults became the basis of the region's fearsome street gangs.
As in most urban areas, 1950s freeway construction radically altered the geography of southern Los Angeles. Freeway routes tended to reinforce traditional segregation lines.
Beginning in the 1970s, the rapid decline of the area's manufacturing base resulted in a loss of the jobs that had allowed skilled union workers to enjoy a middle class lifestyle. Downtown Los Angeles' service sector, which had long been dominated by unionized African Americans earning relatively high wages, replaced most black workers with newly arrived Mexican and Central American immigrants.
Widespread unemployment, poverty and street crime contributed to the rise of street gangs in South Central, such as the Crips and Bloods. They became even more powerful with money from drugs, especially the crack cocaine trade, dominated by gangs in the 1980s.
By the early 2000s, the crime rate of South Los Angeles had declined significantly. Redevelopment, improved police patrol, community-based peace programs, gang intervention work, and youth development organizations lowered the murder and crime rates to levels that had not been seen since the 1940s and '50s. Nevertheless, South Los Angeles was still known for its gangs at the time.In mid 2003, the City of Los Angeles officially changed the region's name from South Central to South Los Angeles, a move supporters said would "help erase a stigma that has dogged the southern part of the city."
On August 11, 2014, just two days after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a resident of South L.A., Ezell Ford, described as "a mentally ill 25-year-old man," was fatally shot by two Los Angeles police officers (see Shooting of Ezell Ford).Since then, a number of protests focused on events in Ferguson have taken place in South Los Angeles.
After the 2008 economic recession, housing prices in South Los Angeles recovered significantly, and by 2018, many had come to see South Los Angeles as a prime target for gentrification amid rising real estate values.Real estate values in South Los Angeles were further bolstered by news that Los Angeles will host the 2028 Olympics, with many of the games to be hosted on or near the USC campus.
By the end of the 1980s, South Los Angeles had an increasing number of Hispanics and Latinos, mostly in the northeastern section of the region.
According to scholars, "Between 1970 and 1990 the South LA area went from 80% black and 9% Latino to 50.3% black and 44% Latino."This massive and rapid residential demographic change occurred as resources in the area were shrinking due to global economic restructuring described above and due to the federal government's decrease in funding of urban anti-poverty and jobs programs, and other vital social services like healthcare. The socio-economic context described here increased the perception and the reality of competition amongst Asians, blacks, and Latinos in South LA. The results from the 2000 census which show continuing demographic change coupled with recent economic trends indicating a deterioration of conditions in South LA suggest that such competition will not soon ease."
In the 2014 census, the area of South Los Angeles had a population of 271,040. 61.0% of the residents were Hispanic or Latino, 28.7% were African American.
South Los Angeles is home to the University of Southern California, a private research university in the University Park neighborhood. It is California's oldest private research university.
Almost all of the South Los Angeles Area is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District. There are some schools not within the LAUSD that also serve the South Los Angeles Area, such as independent private schools or charter schools.
The following are some of the schools under the LAUSD which fall within the boundaries of the South Los Angeles region.
LAUSD Elementary Schools
LAUSD Middle Schools
LAUSD High Schools
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The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the South Health Center in Watts, Los Angeles, serving South Los Angeles.
View Park−Windsor Hills is an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The View Park neighborhood is on the north end of the community along Angeles Vista Boulevard and the Windsor Hills neighborhood is on the southern end to the north of Slauson Avenue.
Watts is a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles, California. It is located within the South Los Angeles region, bordering the cities of Lynwood and South Gate to the east and southeast, respectively, and the unincorporated community of Willowbrook to the south.
Leimert Park is a neighborhood in the South Los Angeles region of Los Angeles, California. Developed in the 1920s as a mainly residential community, it features Spanish Colonial Revival homes and tree-lined streets with a central commercial area and an eponymous park that has remained central to the community. It has become the center of both historical and contemporary African-American art, music, and culture in Los Angeles.
Baldwin Hills is a neighborhood within the South Los Angeles region of Los Angeles California. It is home to Kenneth Hahn State Regional Park and to Village Green, a National Historic Landmark.
Crenshaw, or the Crenshaw District, is a neighborhood in South Los Angeles, California.
Jefferson Park is a neighborhood in the South region of the City of Los Angeles, California.
Glassell Park is a neighborhood of Northeast Los Angeles, California, in the San Rafael Hills.
South Park is a 1.41 square miles (3.65 km2) neighborhood within the South Los Angeles region of Los Angeles, California.
Mid-City is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California.
Arlington Heights is a densely populated, highly diverse neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California, where most people live in rented homes or apartments. Within it lies the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone of Country Club Park. There is a technology center for adults, two middle schools, three other schools and a public library.
Vermont Square is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the South Los Angeles region. The Vermont Square Branch library, a designated Historic-Cultural Monument, is located in the community.
Hyde Park is a neighborhood in the South region of Los Angeles, California. Formerly a separate city, it was consolidated with Los Angeles in 1923.
Vermont Knolls is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the South Los Angeles region.
Chesterfield Square is a 0.63-square-mile neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, located within the South Los Angeles region. It contains its namesake park, along with the Van Ness Recreation Center.
Historic South Central Los Angeles is a 2.25-square-mile neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the South Los Angeles region. It is the site of the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall. From the late 1800s to early 1910s, African Americans began relocating to the area, mostly organizing around landholdings of Los Angeles pioneer Biddy Mason. The African American population continued to grow into the 1940s, and countless Jazz nightclubs lined South Central Avenue. In the 1990s, the neighborhood shifted to becoming a hub for Latino immigrants, with many being drawn by low rents and central City location. Also with the addition of the Metro Blue Line on the Washington Boulevard corridor has spurred growth, and a community plan recently adopted by the L.A. City Council hopes to revitalize the neighborhood.
Manchester Square is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the South Los Angeles region.
Gramercy Park is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the South Los Angeles region. It has a population of at least 11,000. Jesse Owens Community Regional Park is located in the neighborhood.
Florence is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. The neighborhood, part of the South Los Angeles region, is home to over 46,000 residents.
The Vermont-Slauson district of Los Angeles is a 1.44-square-mile neighborhood within the South Los Angeles region of Los Angeles, California.
The Exposition Park neighborhood of Los Angeles is in the south region of Los Angeles, California. It is home to Exposition Park, which includes the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Banc of California Stadium, Exposition Rose Garden and three museums: the California African American Museum, the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It is also home to a Science Center Academy.