Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Black Studies The Black Experience In Southern California Essay

Black Studies The Black Experience In Southern California - Essay Example His book traces the development of society in Los Angeles following the war. The city was vibrant with economic activity and cultural diversity. Avila narrates the city’s cultural history from the end of the war till the seventies when immigrants from the rest of America and indeed the world flooded into LA to share in the potential economic boom of the time. This immigrant population brought with them their cultural baggage of various ethnic and racial identities. They included whites who formed the dominant part of the mix and it was they who defined the whiteness of the city. Better educated with a history of previous employment, the white population were able to secure well-paid jobs with benefits and incentives. They soon formed the dominant race and established its ‘whiteness’ interspersed with a mix of various ethnic and racial cultures. Avila explores the subsequent interactions between popular culture, suburbanization of whites and the exodus of cultures from middle and Eastern America to the West. He explains the social and spatial consequences of this cultural shift alongside other notable events that occurred during the period. He attributes some key events such as the Brooklyn Dodgers move to Los Angeles, the setting up of Disneyland and the building of the Californian freeways, to the drastic reorganization of urban spatial zones and the redistribution of ethnic and racial minorities in the city. Many of the minority groups, amid political turmoil and much opposition were forced to shift to other areas to make way for construction of the new stadium and the freeways. Marginal neighbourhoods faced the threat of destruction and those that were bypassed ran into neglect. Although residents attempted to halt the construction of the Californian freeways and the stadium they efforts were ultimately futile. Political policies during the period attempted to zero in on the white hot spots interspersed in non-white neighbourhoods, ignoring the significance of the racial population. Over several decades as outer towns and towns within the immediate vicinity of LA, became encapsulated with the larger city, the city leaders tended to segregate the city, demarcate it according to the racial mix existing in those areas. Locales that were more developed or affluent gained more attention and investment than the areas that seemed to show less potential. Due to the political neglect, the underdeveloped neighbourhoods became infested with all kinds of crime and misdemeanour. Less job opportunities and lack of focus on education in schools, poorly paid teachers, shifting of professionals to more affluent parts, all contributed to the rise in crime. The consequence of this was that the underprivileged in ethnic and racial communities, fell prey to lawlessness. The blacks resorted to criminal violence , robbery and murder as a means to maintain their livelihoods. A culture of violence spread through the city and grew rise to gangs. Involvement with drugs and other illegal activities also became a means to an end. This brought about the image of crime to be associated with blacks. Further reinforcement came about through the depiction of crime in television and film and many of the instigators of violence were shown to be black. Avila makes the point of how television and fi

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