Gang Culture Changing Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast, the most populous in California, home to more than 3.5 million citizens, and the second most populous city in the nation, following New York City. Nicknamed the “City of Angels,” L.A. houses people from more than 140 countries speaking 224 different languages. But is Los Angeles really a “City of Angels?” L.A.’s cultural diversity causes the city to be divided into many neighborhoods, many of which were towns that were annexed by the growing city. Although Los Angeles is diverse, with this diversity comes animosity between certain ethnic groups fighting for a recognition and territory. Los Angeles is often referred to as the “gang capital of North America” home to some of the world’s most notorious gangs. It is houses over 400 separate gangs and an estimated 39,000 gang members, while LA county has more than 1300 street gangs with over 150,000 members. These gangs have the power to affect the way Los Angeles is arranged demographically. The majority of Los Angeles’s gang population is African-American and Hispanic. Los Angeles’ neighborhood demography is constantly changing due to a gradual change in gang culture overtime from the 1940s through 1965 and the 1970s through the present.
Black Gang Culture
The first major period of black gangs in Los Angeles began in the mid 1940s and ended in 1965. During the mid 1940s, new African-American gangs began to form in East Los Angeles and in the Central Ave area near Jefferson High School. A few gangs that made a name for themselves during this period were 28th Street, Boozies, Goodlows, and Purple Hearts. These groups referred to themselves as clubs. By the late 1940s, “clubs”/gangs were gaining popularity in the Black community, resulting in several more clubs forming. There were significant black populations south of 92nd Street in Watts and in the Jefferson Park/West Adams area...