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Renovation or Modern Day Segregation? 

Francisco Gregorio
The 2011 Elixr mural, depicting a Black woman with an Afro connected to the cosmos, was destroyed when a building was taken down to make space for new construction on Crenshaw in February.

Within the past few decades, gentrification has erupted in Los Angeles, causing an increase in the prices of houses and apartments within impoverished neighborhoods. This has caused issues such as immeasurable displacement upon civilians, the dismantlement of businesses owned by people of color, and the destruction of urban culture. 

These problems have not only affected our working class citizens, but have also caught the attention of the students of Hamilton High School. Even those who are not directly affected by the issue can empathize as well, such as Humanities junior Sofoniyas Menebere. 

“I think it is absolutely not fair that hard-working civilians have to go through basically being kicked out of their house just because they are not financially secure enough to afford a house in the community they’ve grown up in,” Sofoniyas said. “And for what? So we could have these crazy expensive buildings that the residents can’t even afford to enjoy?”

Many students have been directly affected by the issue as well, not just financially but socially and culturally.

AMPA freshman Anthony Rojas said he has seen this impact.

“The neighborhood is already poor and then there’s people who want to come in and raise the prices of everything, making it harder for the residents,” Anthony said.

The nearby city of Inglewood, where the city has completed mind-blowing renovations such as building the SoFi Stadium, has been greatly impacted by gentrification.

Humanities senior Alyssia Jones said she has seen many changes in her neighborhood.

“I live by the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood and I see lots of white people all the time and they are walking their animals,” Alyssia sai., “It’s not normal to see that in Inglewood.”

In addition to the SoFi Stadium, Inglewood has the Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas Inglewood IMAX, one of the best movie theaters in Los Angeles. Ironically, these developments were used as a Black Art and Historical Artifact Exhibition during Black History Month, and have a mural of a black woman floating on water, despite the effects of the construction on Black residents. The area will also soon be home to the Dome, which will be the very first sports arena for the Los Angeles Clippers. From the middle-class perspective, these may seem to be great investments, but for the average homeowner perspective, it’s only causing chaos. Due to these renovations, the median price of a home in Inglewood is $900,000. For the middle-class worker, who is the city’s foundation, this is simply not in reach.

Gentrification in Los Angeles can be dated back to the 1990s.  Although some say it decreases crime and homelessness, it’s at the cost of endangering low-income citizens, who lack not only financial support, but financial knowledge that prevents them from being taken advantage of. One way to put an end to such an act of exploitation is to educate disadvantaged citizens on the historical roots of gentrification and the groups that it affects. 

Who knows how long it will be before places such as Inglewood, the Crenshaw District, and even Latino communities such as Boyle Heights begin to be unrecognizable. The homeless population will begin to increase, the amount of white people living in neighborhoods that were predominantly of color less than years ago will increase, and the displacement of Black and brown residents will increase, unless we as a community make a change.

Additional reporting contributed by Kamryn Williams.

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About the Contributor
Francisco Gregorio
Francisco Gregorio, Staff Writer
Francisco Gregorio is a staff writer for The Federalist. He is an 11th grader in AMPA at Alexander Hamilton Senior High. Francisco covers the news, and is also interested in music, sports, and history. You can share feedback and story ideas with Francisco through email at [email protected] or on Instagram @federalistathami.

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