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Historic South-Central

Tell us what Historic South-Central means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


I've lived all my life in south central

(central and 28th) since 1988. I've seen a huge change, from hardcore gangsters to no gangsters at all. i see people walk outside with confidence. We never saw joggers, people walking thier pets, kids playing outside. South central has really changed at least in my area. As a former student from jefferson high school im proud and not ashamed of saying im from south los angeles. Plain and simple people that look for trouble will always find trouble but that's anywhere. I love my life culture and people and Tam's and tacos lol its me life and i enjoy every single minute

— Luis Sandoval
June 1, 2013 at 8:04 a.m.

I live in Inglewood but my great grandmother lived in south central and my dad grew up there. I loved going to big mommas house and eating at the restaurants. Yes there is a lot of drugs and gang violence, we have the same thing. Give love to the cops that put a stomp on the crime. Kids like my classmates and I need to make our hood better. We shouldn't take pride in living in the ghetto . We should take pride in making it better and not being ashamed of where we come from.

— kids
October 16, 2012 at 5:36 p.m.

I have lived in south central my whole life! went to miramonte elementary, Edison MS, and Graduated from Fremont High! I love this place! i can totally agree with Raul Viera! Who can beat having a taco stand in every corner! Or even better to be able to buy some good tacos past 10pm! I love tams!!! i know where all of them are!! Apart from that there are so many cool people and its great to know that most of the people you grow up with are still here! What i don't like is when I invite my college friends over, they have to think about it because they think it is ghetto and dangerous to come to south central! But you have to understand that its the few bad people that give our neighborhood a bad rep. I would still like to travel and see whats outside LA... but this is where i would rather be! =]

— Ana Saenz
July 11, 2012 at 10:39 p.m.

This is my home....South Central Los Angeles! I got here 1989 at the age of 5 years old. I don't know one person who calls it south l.a. besides outsiders. I went to Trinity elementry, Adams Jr High, and Manuel Arts High School. I am now deported based 0n a missed an immigration court date. I'm in Mexico in a very strange place and I miss my home....South Central and all my family friends and homies.

— maple and 36th street
September 16, 2011 at 4:54 p.m.

South Central was Harlem West back in the day, the hub of West Coast Jazz. It's name comes from the fact that the neighborhood is centered around South Central Avenue. Over time, after the racist, restrictive housing covenants were abolished and LA's black population spread south of Slauson, "South Central" became shorthand for anywhere in South LA with a large black population. But the real South Central is Historic South Central.

I administer a South Central Facebook page:

— Eric Brightwell
June 1, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.

well what can i say ? i live in Jefferson and Griffith close to newton station and i hear black and white sirens once in a while pass in front of my house been livin' hear for about 11 years and i'd like to say that i'm proud of south central and the LAPD even though sometimes they go "postal' on innocent people but what the hell can you do !!!! "guilty until the say otherwise" got pulled over by motorcycle cop once i had a headlite out , told him i was gonna fix it in 5 minutes and he let me go !!!! thx officer whomever you were !!!!

— angel rodriguez
March 18, 2011 at 10:16 p.m.

wat could i say. nothing more peceful than south central l.a

February 2, 2011 at 10:15 a.m.

hmmmm. south central l.a. known as southh l.a by you geographers lol. i love the hood. theres nothing i would change besiedes the messed up side walks and streets. we need more trees cant deny that; a more aesthetic atmosphere. but other than that im proud of where i came from. ive lived all over south l.a. even moved to the west side from san pedro n 24th to broadway n king then hoover lol been every where. its made me who i am today. And like most of us would say theres no place like home. im 17 graduated highschool at 16. im now in a 2 year college hope to transfer to a major univercity by 2012 n yes i plan to leave n travel one day. But at the end of the day ill always come back home. its on us to make the change. To live n die in L.A. Home of diverse, smart and buetiful people. 1love. We got this. and to christian you made your own choices hunn. nobody told you dig your self into hole that chu cant get out of;). stay up though. becuase only the strong survive. and you got this too ma figga lol.

— kay
January 6, 2011 at 9:57 a.m.

i live on king and avalon .. for those of you talking about this is the best place to live? you make me laugh'' i hate south central! the only thing i love about it is if you can make it here you can make it anywhere!! and i have good memories of this place but i dont wanna grow old here'' im 22 and on probation so i ghess this is home 4 ever

— cristian
December 19, 2010 at 4:58 p.m.

I live in texas, but any and every chance I get to go to LA, I stay in South-Central with my family. So to me South-Central means family and growth. I cannot wait to live in LA for good.

— Veronica
October 22, 2010 at 9 a.m.

The east side of south central is home there is good times and bad times theres no place like home and to lydia i bet you still in south central why are you ashamed? are you one of those people you described lol. If you make it survive and make it out of the East Side of South Central you can meke it and survive anywhere "ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE"

September 30, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.

The downsides of South Central is all garbage on the streets and the graffiti on the walls. I was born in Los Angeles and raised in South Los Angeles since the age of 4. I used to live near MLK and Main, but now I live near 41st St and Central Ave. I love South L.A., but I really hate all the graffiti on the walls and all the trash that people throw on the streets. We need to take initiative and take over out South L.A. streets. We need to make this a neighborhood we can be proud of.

— Joe
August 12, 2010 at 5:19 p.m.

@gary 100% behind you.

— Juan Ramirez
July 5, 2010 at 9:05 a.m.

Take a look at the people in the community.We are responsible.We can't continue to point fingers.We know who slinging drugs,who's banging,and we should know who every cop is in our neighborhood.It's our house.Clean it ourselves.We let the legislators put police in our livingrooms.

— gary
June 6, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.

Growing up in South Central brings back good and bad memmories(mostly good).I went to Trinity Elementry,Jhon adams jr High,and proud to say that I graduated from Thomas Jefferson high.I now live in Las Vegas Nevada and not a day goes by That I miss my Home.What I miss the Most is the people and the food!.Where else in L.A is there a taco stand in every other corner? or better yet a Tams burger?.For those who grew up In SC Know what im talking about.Ok so Its not Beverly Hills or Palos Verdes.To me this will always be my home and proud of it!.Theres no shame on mines no matter where I go.I was born and raised in South Central L.A Home of the 92 riots and the best NBA team ever!.Go lakers.

— Raul Viera
May 19, 2010 at 8:05 p.m.

i live in south central mlk & denker..been here for over 25yrs..and i've only seen it go down hill every year...i don't think it's ever gonna get better...

— juan
May 19, 2010 at 6:11 p.m.

I grew up in South L.A.(the Eastside) we call it. It was a community of east Europeans, Blacks and Asians only two latino families lived nearby. The lawns were manicured and we had may business owners and stores on Santa Barbara Ave. that disappeared after the street was widened. The influx of immigrants in the mid 80's brought a decline to the neighborhood. Grafitti, urinating in the streets, and trash all over the place from some of the street vendors who stop at every corner and their customers drop the garbage everywhere. People do not keep their dogs in the yard and let them roam all over as well as the chickens and roosters. Do to a lack of similar language the community is somewhat separated due to different value sets, but it can work if everyone joins in to make it happen. It is all of our problem and we all need to fix it and make our neighborhood the pride. It is not a wasteland or a lost cause. I have been here for 52 years and I will stay here.

— Sharon
May 7, 2010 at 11:02 a.m.

Attn: South Ccntral LA haters...

Don't hate the community. Hate the machine that made it as what it is today. It is that same machine (Politicians, Media, Corporations, etc.) that brought cancer, drugs, cholesterol, sexism, etc. to our communities. Through k-12 where the majority of the teachers are white teach us the wrong history and on top of that there is a lack of resources to get kids college ready. Ultimately, they create a type of atmosphere where you hate your identity because of the false history and the stereotypic images media portrays about brown and black people.

The people in South Central might not have clothes from hollister, or a mansion, or a corvette, etc. But we have something that is a lot more valuable than that... and that is that we know true humanity. We know the struggle... Not one person should be ashamed of that. Claim your community as South Central LA like the historic place it is that we all built...

— love.
May 2, 2010 at 8:14 p.m.

I was born and raised in SCLA love it just the way it is. I have a career, I don't sell or do drugs, Im not a gang member and yet I did live there till now but not because I don't want to live there it's because I had to. Ignorant comments come from ignorant people. I still just laugh at people who came from SOUTH CENTRAL like "Lydia"and don't want to remember where they came from.

— Jackie
April 22, 2010 at 6:42 p.m.

Their has been many changes in South Central,Los Angeles. Has a community of people there are those who are prospering and their are those who will continune to go down in a spiral. I look at our black and brown people and see the pain, frustration, relentless and hopefullness. Society always has something to say about the poor and less fortunate. There are people in this community that are doing well. Not every street is gang and drug infested. Society sterotypes groups of people, when they really don't know or understand. Has a people we have a long way to go. The senseless killings have to stop. We need job training and opportunity to prosper. South Central is unique and unfeigned.

— Toni from the neighborhood
April 16, 2010 at 11:22 a.m.

WOOOOW!!!! Lydia you went hard on my old stomping ground. I understand your views as well as Juan's. I grew up in that are during the 70's-80's. I actually went to West Vernon Elementry and graduated from Manual Arts High. I was home on a visit last week after many years to visit family and friends,and yes the area needs some TLC in the worst way. My old house on 42nd street looks nothing like it did when I lived there. I'm sure the majority ofthe folks in that area are trying the best they can, but the misdeeds of a view cast a dark cloud on the many.

— James
April 16, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.

we need people like you need to work in the community. You cannot disrespect the area if you have not done anything for it. This waste land of a dump is worth its history.

— Juan Ramirez
April 2, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.

I was born and raised in this neighborhood, I finally moved closer to Inglewood and it's a major improvement. The neighbors in South LA are loud, disrespectful, uneducated, pact 3 families in one unit, sell tacos on every corner and rarely take care of their lawns, this place is a dump. The LAPD doesn't care about this area, they constantly ignore calls and overlook the residents of this community. I can not defend this waste land, it needs to change. What's sad is that there are some really smart, kind and wonderful families who live in this community, but they will eventually leave too. This neighborhood is decaying more and more every year.

— Lydia
March 23, 2010 at 5:04 p.m.

It will always Be South Central.. the reason why city council change the name was be cause of its "notorious " history. The History is rich. There will be a movement to change the name back. Jan Perry better be prepare and people like you should know better. Most of the locals living in this neighborhood know it as South Central or SUR CENTRO. If you know history about how places are named you would know they are name by popularity. Yes, It is politicly correct being called South LA since the mid 90's. Nonetheless to most youth and Locals of this neighborhood it will alway be SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES!!!!

— Juan Ramirez
March 10, 2010 at 8:45 a.m.

its south L.A not south central it used too be south central it could be safe on your block but not down the street.south L.A is not safe

— rosehill L.A
February 21, 2010 at 10:14 p.m.

People are scared of south central because they think they will get raped, killed and robbed. I have been living here all of my life which has been 23 years and nothing has ever happened to me. South Central me is not the worst place to live and I believe its due to the fact that the area I lived in was never flooded with gangs or violence. Yes, there is loud music, cars that go by super fast and we have had occasions where shooting occurs but, that is rare. Yet, I never go outside with the fear of getting shot. Most people think of south central as a place were people have a low education and don't do anything with there lives. I am proud to say I am not one of those . As a college graduate and current teacher at a preschool in South Central. I have learned that It doesn't matter where you live or come from , You can still succeed in life as long as you try and know who you can rely on. Through the bad and the good south central will always be my home and I would never change that.

— Kate
February 21, 2010 at 3:12 p.m.

I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles known to many for its urban decay and reputation for incubating the dregs of society. Growing up in a concentrated poverty area has motivated me to make a collective change towards the progression of my community. As a youngster I realized the disparities between the rich and the poor and became often frustrated that more was not being done to alleviate the gang violence, prostitution, drugs and murders. It has also given me the ability to comprehend people of different ethnic and class backgrounds. These populations and I share similar experiences with poverty, social isolation and abandonment as well as street violence. I understand the social pressures of drugs, I understand the appeal of joining a gang, I understand the trap of living the only seemingly viable lifestyle offered to the people in the ghetto because I lived through it. I have gained courage and strength from my experiences and understood that although there are real racial barriers, poverty affects everyone. Non the less This area is still full of life, but we must take responsibility in order save our community, we must reinvest into our children and their future in order to reap the benefits later. As a community we have to start being involved with redeveloping it, we must open cultural centers, Libraries and community centers, not liquor stores.


Hipsters I am glad you are taking an interest in us but please leave our neighborhoods alone, you are the shock troops of gentrification

— Guadalupe Navarro
January 31, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.

i grew up in the corners of 43rd and main st. As a young kid, i would only walk to west vernon, the store on 42nd, and to the church with my parents on 47th. i got older into my teens, i knew every kid with in 7 block radius. i love my hood. it is a shame that people don't feel the same. there are may characters within this hood, and am glad to say that i know some old timers. by the way it is South Central not "South LA".


— Juan Ramirez
January 3, 2010 at 6:23 p.m.

Nancy have you ever traveled to NYC? More thrash on the streets there than in South Central L.A. streets. What is the "American culture" that you're talking about?

I would like to see Central Ave redevelped. Bring back the jazz culture that it cultivated in the 1930s- 50s.

— Dario
November 16, 2009 at 4:26 p.m.

I grew up on 42nd and Broadway, spent a lot of time on 41st PL and Main at Snappy's. It was not a picture perfect neighborhood back in my teens in the mid 80's. I have much love for the people and places around South Central. As I got older and traveled the country I noticed no matter were I went there was always some place that reminded me of home. You have good and bad in all people. You have crooks in Beverly Hills robbing folks everyday, There just doing it in a $1500.00 suit. If you take notice everybody wants to be from the Westside. I seen young kids in Indiana throwing up the W. I claim L.A. to the fullest, I have never denied my city.

— James
October 15, 2009 at 11:18 a.m.

I love the city of Angels

this city where your can come true the city of the show business and the place where bunnies live

— Jerry
October 2, 2009 at 9:38 p.m.

I grew up in this neighborhood, and I can attest, it is the most disrespectful, uncaring neighborhood ever. No one respects their neighbors, noise levels are out of control, police are slow to respond, if they ever respond. Too many uneducated, beer guzzling fools in the streets. Trash in every corner. Crime has gone down over the years, but it is still there, where gang wars are not in the open, drugs are everywhere.

I can barely come up with something positive for the place. All I can say, is the Latino community here is rich in culture and history, we cant take that away from them, but VERY disrespectful of the American culture. People in this neighborhood are slobs. I am glad to be out of it and, can barely acknowledge it as my childhood home.

— Nadya Hernandez
September 13, 2009 at 11:03 a.m.

I love that most stereotypes about my community aren't true. Misconceptions about south central are over exaggerated, there is solidarity among the various shades of black and brown. It's beautiful. We are making real significant progress in race relations by talking to our neighbors. In south central you will find the new wave of Latin@ immigrants and a rich language filled with slang from its various ethnic groups. We have diversity that goes beyond statistics.

— Daniel Morales Leon
August 19, 2009 at 12:12 p.m.

Historic South-Central

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the South L.A. region of Los Angeles County.
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About This Project
Historic South-Central is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.