“The exclusionary housing market confined minorities to neighborhoods such as Watts. The resulting residential segregation enabled the government to practice another form of institutionalized racism, the redlining of home mortgages insurance. The Home Owners Loan Corporation designated minority neighborhoods (those shaded in black and gray in the map in this section) as being unfit for home financing, which, with racially restrictive covenants, excluded people of color from the housing boom that afforded many white households their first house (Katznelson, 2005; Rothstein, 2017). This place-based discrimination created major barriers for people of color to build home equity even within racially isolated neighborhoods, and was a contributor to the racial wealth gap (Oliver and Shapiro, 2006).”
The Los Angeles we know in the 21st century is not just some place that arrived from out of the blue one summer day, but an environment that was built out through specifically racist laws, designations, and customs over the course of decades, particularly during the 20th century.
In this case, redlining, the discriminatory practice of denying services or assistance to people based on their racial or ethnic background, is precisely responsible for the historically Black and under-served population still associated with “South-Central” Los Angeles.
In 2018, any Angeleno taking a walk through neighborhoods like Watts can still feel the legacy of The City’s redlining, as well as the anger and frustration towards such flagrant acts of sabotage and abandon against a people and their community.
So let us continue to get to work, Los Angeles.
It’s the next thirty years of the pueblo that are waiting on us.