history of Compton
begins in 1794, the Spanish Crown gave
Juan Jose Dominguez this area. The area was named Rancho San Pedro by him.
Dominguez's name was later applied to the Dominguez Hills community south of Compton.
quickly in the 1900s. It started as a white suburb of LA. In the late 1940s with the end of segregation, middle class blacks began moving
into the area, mostly on the west side. After the Watts Riots, nearly all the
whites fled to OrangeCounty (white flight). For
many years, Compton was a popular area for the Black
middle class of Los Angeles.
has changed over the years. Many of the wealthy people of the city, both Black,
white, and Latino have left, and this has left the city of Compton with very little money. The lack of
money is most obvious in looking at the recent history of the Compton police department. The Compton city police
closed down due to a lack of money. The area is policed by the California state police.
This has led to one of the highest crime rates in the country. Also ComptonCommunity College has constantly had
money problems. At this point, it has been taken over by El Camino College. Crime, though present in lesser degrees
beforehand, worsened significantly with the introduction of crack cocaine in the 1980s. The neighborhood lost richer residents with the worsening
safety problems, and, after the 1992 LA Riots, many Blacks left the region. Meanwhile, many
Latino families moved into Compton.
Latinos are the largest ethnic group in the city, although many people still
tend to think of Compton
as a primarily Black community. Compton
is also the center of huge economic development in international trade,
although it still faces financial problems.
Gardena began as a community of homes, apart
from the great rancho estates of the Dominguez, Amestoy, Ducazau, and Rosecrans
families, dating back to the 1880s. A Ventura
man, Spencer R. Thorpe, is credited with having started the first settlement in
GardenaValley, centered near the intersection
of what is now 161st and Figueroa. The City of Gardena
was incorporated on September 11, 1930, much later than LA, Inglewood,
or Compton. The
area was mostly based around farming. This resulted in a very diverse
had a large Japanese farming population that vanished due to Japanese
Internment during World War II. They had an established white population that
owned farm land. Blacks from the South who had experience in farmed also came.
Mexicans from areas in Mexico
were farming was done also came.
Gardena has remained a diverse area. Today,
Blacks make up about 25% of the population and Latinos account for 35% of the
population. Whites and Asians also make up significant parts of the population.
In the Southern Los Angeles County area, Gardena
is one of the most diverse areas, second in diversity only to Carson.
Inglewood dates its history to the construction of the Centinela Adobe in 1834 by
Ygnacio Machado when California was still part
The arrival of the railroad to the area caused Inglewood to be established as a city in 1888. By 1908, it had a
population of 1,200. Between 1920 and 1925,
it was the fastest-growing city in the United States and was known for it chinchilla
farms. Chinchillas are small rodents whose fur is used for expensive coats. Most
of the population at this time was white. Inglewood
has been home to the Hollywood Park since 1938. The Forum was built in Inglewood
in 1967 and was the
home of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks and the Los Angeles Kings until they moved to Los Angeles' Staples Center in 1999. Fosters Freeze the first ice cream chain in California,
was founded by George Foster in 1946 in Inglewood. Inglewood Park Cemetry is a widely used
cemetery for the entire area.
Inglewood was mostly white up into the 1970s. In
the 1970s, Black middle class and working class people from Watts and Compton began to move into Inglewood in large numbers. A large Latino
population also developed around the same time. Today, the two groups are split
evenly in the city. Inglewood
has become the focus of recent economic development. On Century, many new
stores such as Target, Home Depot, and Costco has been opened. These have
quickly become some of the largest employers in Inglewood. However, these stores do not
provide the high-paying jobs necessary to rise a family. Therefore, the actual
benefit to poor people in the area has been very little. The middle class has
received the greatest benefit from these stores because they no longer have to
travel far to get to a shopping center.
Like some of the other Los Angeles suburbs, Lynwood started off as a small town called Rancho San Antonio in 1810, when California was still part of Mexican. The man that found the town, Don Antonio Lugo, asked the U.S. government to make it an American town when the United States took over California.
Almost 100 years later in 1902, Lynwood became known as Lynwood. One of the first attractions were homes that were made with running water. Back then, they did not have running water and toilets. Lynwood had some of the first homes that had running water. These first homes were built at Long Beach Blvd. and Imperial Highway. Today, this is the place where Plaza Mexico stands.
Lynwood started out as a Mexican town. By the 1900s, it was a mostly white town. There were many farmers. Many of the whites lived in Lynwood and worked in factories in South Central. By the late 1960s, after the Watts Riots, many of the whites left Lynwood (which is right next to Watts). Many Black people from Watts started to move in. From the 1960s to the 1980s it was a mostly Black city. This started to change in the 1990s as immigration increased. Today, the city is 85% Latino, 10% Black, and 5% other.