Los Angeles | In-Person

Is South L.A. Forging a New American Identity?

In-Person and Virtual

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

From left to right: Angel Jennings, Manuel Pastor, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Corey Matthews. Illustration by Be Boggs.

A Zócalo/Esperanza Community Housing Event
Moderated by Angel Jennings, Assistant Managing Editor for Culture and Talent, Los Angeles Times

South Los Angeles, one of the West Coast’s last great working-class places, has been a destination point for two great migrations: African Americans arriving from the South and East, and, more recently, Latin Americans immigrating to Southern California. While media have long dwelled on examples of interracial and interethnic conflict there, the everyday reality of South L.A.’s ever-changing neighborhoods has revolved around Black-Brown co-existence, cooperation, and innovative multiracial organizing. How have South Central’s diverse residents managed to find solidarity in unsettling and polarizing times? What new and shared place-based identities have emerged from the area’s mix of histories and cultures? And what can the rest of L.A., and the U.S., learn from South L.A.?

USC sociologists Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Manuel Pastor, co-authors of South Central Dreams: Finding Home and Building Community in South L.A., and Corey Matthews, chief operating officer of Community Coalition, visit Zócalo to explore the lessons of South L.A.’s struggles and successes.


This event is produced in partnership with South Central Innervisions: An AfroLatinxFuturism multidisciplinary arts festival on July 31, 2021 at Mercado La Paloma.


Zócalo is back in-person, live at Mercado La Paloma! We’re also still here for our online audiences and will stream the event live on YouTube alongside our moderated chat room. Both audiences will have the opportunity to meet one another and submit questions to our speakers.


Real-time Spanish interpretation will be available on-site.

Mercado La Paloma
3655 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007

The Takeaway

How South (Central) L.A. Is Forging Its Future | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How South (Central) L.A. Is Forging Its Future

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