Remaking an American Ghetto
Edited by Josh Sides
University of California Press, $45.00, 232 pages
South Los Angeles is considered to be one of the most blighted areas in America. A modern, urban ghetto, in one of the most dynamic, polarizing, cities in America. After years of neglect, riots, and urban uprisings, is the image of this area starting to change? Can South Los Angeles become something more than just a byword for urban decay, rampant crime, and lack of opportunity? According to the contributors to this book the answer is yes. While there are still problems with South Los Angeles it is showing signs of progress, hope, and renewal. And not just on the average cookie cutter suburb. People are making it into their own community, with particular values, beliefs, and traditions. Each chapter focuses on a different topic, from parks and recreation. To the rise of the Latinos living in South Los Angeles and the change it has had on the area. From bringing in grocery stores that have fresh fruit and vegetables at reasonable prices; to taking on fast food chains and bringing in other types of restaurants. The region is making progress, but it is a slow and often halting progress. The area is changing but it still needs support and strong advocates if we want to do away with this urban ghetto.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter