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Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities 0th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814737354
ISBN-10: 0814737358
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"To offset the notion that twenty-first century America is a "colorblind society," Black Los Angeles construes "black" as having more to do with power and politics than with natural features . . . The pyschological and sociological perspectives of many contributors present aspects of contemporary black life that historians often overlook and that future works of history should include."
-Lawrence B. de Graaf,Journal of American History

“These beautifully-written essays cover the grit of everyday life (family, gangs, gays), cultural magic (art, music, media), and political action (labor, education, and environment). The diversity of perspectives and eight-year commitment by scholars and community collaborators make this a one-of-a-kind collection. The result is a realistic and uplifting portrayal. Anyone who wants to understand Los Angeles and Black America needs to read this book—now.”
-Michael Dear,author of The Postmodern Urban Condition



“It’s a deeper, better work of scholarship that wades into the history of this city, some of that history hundreds of years old, as a way of making sense of not just the present but the future as well. This wide sweep of Los Angeles history, and the role that black Americans played in its evolution at every level, is what sets this collection of supple, trenchant essays apart.”

-Michael E. Ross,Popmatters.com

"Overall, this is an excellent book."-Journal of African American History

“A true masterwork of urban studies. Taken together, these wide-ranging, diverse, original essays significantly expand our understanding of the African-American experience in Los Angeles. With breathtaking scope and vision, Black Los Angeles is a brilliant example of cutting-edge scholarship and a powerful corrective to the enduring image of a city of drive-by shootings and low-rise projects.”-Robin D. G. Kelley,author of Freedom Dreams

"[T]his is an excellent book....Inside are studies of one specific city, but with applicability to African American urban communities nationwide."-John H. Barnhill,Journal of African American History

"Black Los Angeles provides a telling tale about the need to examine the racial processes that impact Black urban communities."-Clovis L. White,Du Bois Review

“The book brings together the research interests of what Hunt describes as an ‘all‒star team’ of contributors, most but not all of them academics with strong California connections. Comprising 17 short to medium‒length essays, it pivots from data‒rich analyses of how the black community’s 20th century demographic center gradually has shifted from Central Avenue to Leimert Park, to interview‒driven, anecdotal accounts of the rise and decline of Venice’s Oakwood neighborhood and a revealing chronicle of the black‒owned SOLAR (Sounds of Los Angeles Records), a late ‘70s‒early ‘80s hit‒making machine for groups including the Whispers, Shalamar and Klymaxx.”
-Reed Johnson,Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Darnell Hunt is Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and Professor of Sociology at UCLA. He is the editor or author of numerous books, including Channeling Blackness: Studies on Television and Race in America and Screening the Los Angeles “Riots:“ Race, Seeing, and Resistance.



Ana-Christina Ramón is Assistant Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA and a social psychologist.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (April 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814737358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814737354
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book I have been waiting for. I have been an avid collector of anything and everything Los Angeles, especially it's historical evolution, the heavy hitters who built it out of a pueblo, it's architecture, it's microcosms, and most significantly, it's people.

This book begins with a very well researched essay on the predominatly Black enlaves of Baldwin Hills (film maker John Singleton descibes Baldwin Hills as "the Black Greenwich Village") and a later chapter about Lemiert Park (next door to Baldwin Hills), the new 'mecca' for Black arts and cultural happenings in LA. There is great detail about these now (still fairly pristine) Black middle class residential areas once banned anyone non White from home ownership as late as 1950. I was raised in Lemiert Park, attended schools there so this compilation of "urban essays" really hit a nerve with me. I knew every place mentioned. Besides being able to relate with the good, bad and ugly aspects of "life in the Crenshaw community" (which includes Bladwin, View Park, lemiert and Ladea Heights), this excellent book also goes into great detail about other Black LA areas, like the Oakwood section in Venice, CA. and how the neighbors banned together to take control back of their area from rampant crime and drugs. Much is written about the huge post WWII migration of Blacks form the South tothat yearned for a better life in sunny LA-from Central Avenue to West Adams and then further west only to find a new style of more subtle opression. How Hollywood portrays Black life in LA. There is a fascinating chapter on how gangs (Crips in particular) formed and grew like a bad desease throughout LA County and across state lines. and how the murder rate in LA reached epidemic proportions when crack Cocaine hit the streets.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book wich provides an comprehensive history of Black Angelenos , their contributions, struggles and willingness to survive and truimp in racist America. I would highly recommended to all a good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book for class but i thoroughly enjoyed it
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for a history-buff friend. Was also planning to purchase one for myself until I saw it.

With a book of this type, I'd expected pictures, and plenty of them. Instead there are a few sparse, relatively small, images that are not particularly interesting. The amount of dense text on every page is off-putting and fatiguing to the eyes.

It's as if the editors were too lazy to do the grunt work necessary to produce a really fine book. They didn't dig deeply into the rich history of "Black Los Angeles." They didn't bother to track down and incorporate of the vast array of momentous, spectacular race-related images of events and phenomena recorded in L.A.'s archives. Instead they composed a book of musings authored by several individuals; some interesting, others not so much, threw in a few modern-day snapshots, and let it go at that. If I want to see how Los Angeles looks today, I needn't buy a $75 book. I can just get go outside and look around.

Also, the book is much smaller than I'd expected, and was embarrassed when my friend opened his gift book and I saw inside for the first time. No one looking at this book would ever guess it retails for $75. For that amount I'd expect a book that's entertaining as well as informative. These editors could take a lesson from Tom Reed's "The Black Music History of Los Angeles - Its Roots." Not a cheap book, but worth every penny. Unlike this ripoff.
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