Black Erasure in Los Angeles County

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Los Angeles County, CA–Recently, I was asked to help pen an article on African-American (ADOS) displacement in Los Angeles County. Initially, I thought the Publisher was asking me to write another article about gentrification in Los Angeles. However, she wanted to focus more specifically on how Black people have been displaced in the city along with the driving factors. The article was published this months front page of L.A Focus Newspaper.

In 1970, South L.A. was eighty percent Black with 24 of the 28 neighborhoods making up South L.A —from Vermont Square, Watts and “the Jungle” (now Baldwin Village) to View Park and Windsor Hills remaining majority Black through the late 1970s. By 2010, however, South L.A. was sixty-four percent Latino with the number of communities where African-Americans were the majority dropping from 24 to six by 2012. Today, that number has dwindled even further, and with two light rail transit lines running through it, cultural landmarks like Leimert Park, View Park and Baldwin Hills (the latter characterized as the black Beverly Hills) are also experiencing an influx of whites.

That L.A.’s racial makeup has dramatically shifted over the past two decades with blacks losing ground in areas once considered to be African-American strongholds comes as little surprise and is part of what some dub as “Black erasure”, a term being used more and more often to describe the exclusion of the contributions of Black people in history and culture, and even Black communities across the nation. 

For Pulitzer Prize winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones (1619), it is the omission of blacks from history, calling it “symbolic of how history is shaped by people who decide what’s important and what’s not. And that erasure is also a powerful statement.”

In politics, it is marked by the exclusion of black voices from political policy discussions that shape their lives. In culture, it is the erasure of the contribution of Blacks in everything from art to the silver screen. And in cities across the nation, it is the erasure of black people—dead and alive— due to displacement.

Read full article: Black Erasure and the Shadow It’s Casting in L.A. County

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism. Follow Me on IG @Slausongirl

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