Crenshaw, Los Angeles
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Crenshaw, informally as the Crenshaw District, is a neighborhood and district in the southwestern region of the city of Los Angeles, California. It derives from its namesake Crenshaw Boulevard, one of the city's major principal thoroughfares.
The Crenshaw commercial business corridor along this street has had many different cultural backgrounds throughout the years but still has a positive African American commerce with many other ethnicity groups in recent years.
According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, Crenshaw is bordered by Chesterfield Square on the east, Hyde Park on the south, View Park-Windsor Hills on the west. It includes Leimert Park.
Street limits of the Crenshaw neighborhood are: Van Ness and Arlington Avenues; east, Exposition Boulevard on the north, La Brea Avenue near Baldwin Hills; west, and roughly Stocker Street & Slauson Avenue on the south. Other areas within Crenshaw are Baldwin Village and Crenshaw Manor. The Crenshaw Strip is an area directly stretched on Crenshaw between Exposition Boulevard on the north and Vernon Avenue on the south.
Public schools are operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
- Crenshaw High School, which is south of Martin Luther King Boulevard and east of Crenshaw Boulevard, is the local public high school.
The district's Charter schools in the area include the KIPP network. KIPP Academy of Opportunity middle school, Celerity Nascent Charter School the New Design Charter School (built in 2004), View Park Preparatory High School, and View Park Preparatory Middle School.
As a neighborhood within the Los Angeles city limits, Crenshaw does not have its own municipal government. It is appointed by the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce.
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Crenshaw is a largely residential neighborhood of single-story houses, bungalows and low-rise condominiums and apartments. There are also commercial buildings with an industrial corridor along Jefferson Boulevard. There are also several other commercial districts throughout the neighborhood.
After courts ruled segregation covenants to be unconstitutional, the area opened up to other races. A large Japanese American settlement ensued, which can still be found along Coliseum Street, east and west of Crenshaw Boulevard. African Americans started migrating to the district in the mid 1960s, and by the early 1970s later were the majority.
In the 1970s, Crenshaw, Leimert Park and neighboring areas together had formed one of the largest African-American communities in the western United States. Crenshaw had suffered significant damage from both the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake but was able to rebound in the late 2000s with the help of redevelopment.
In 2006, the population of Crenshaw was around 27,600. Currently, there is a huge demographic shift increased in where many middle and lower-class blacks and Latinos are migrating to cities in the Inland Empire as well as cities in the Antelope Valley sections of Southern California as a form of gentrification. Despite the current major demographic shift, blacks had maintained their status as one of the neighborhood's largest ethnic group, with African-Americans forming 63.34% of the population, followed by Whites and Latinos (any race) at 30%, white (not Latino), 16.89%; Asian, 4.38%; American Indians, 0.43%; Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, 0.20%; other races, 9.20%; two or more races, 9.32%.
The Metro Crenshaw LAX Line is a light rail line now under construction. It will run between the Expo/Crenshaw station and Aviation/96 Street station, transiting generally north-south along Crenshaw Boulevard and passing through Leimert Park, the city of Inglewood and Westchester.
- Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping mall is a well-known landmark in the district. It was home to a tri-level Wal-Mart (formerly a Broadway department store, then later a JJ Newberry's), Sears and Macy's. Additional retail stores later moved into the mall such as Victoria's Secret, Forever 21, and TJ Maxx, as well as office supply stores such as Staples.
- Marlton Square, formerly known as Santa Barbara Plaza, was once a shopping center in the district. The center had aged over the years and was a failed redevelopment project. Recently local city business developers and Kaiser Permanente had purchased the land and had demolished the old retail stores in 2011. It is currently constructing a new Kaiser Permanente medical office building as well as plans for a new shopping center.
- The Crenshaw Square center and sign, a local landmark, had been in some disrepair throughout the years. In 2007, the sign was replaced by a modern illuminated red-and-green sign. The Crenshaw Square outdoor shopping center was sold in 2015 and underwent a significant renovation in 2016.
- The Holiday Bowl was a bowling alley and cafe known for being a center of ethnic diversity during the 1960s and 1970s in the Crenshaw district. It featured a sushi bar known as the Sakiba Lounge with live musical acts. Its historic Modernist Googie architecture style has been refurbished by the buildings new tenants, Starbucks and Walgreens, along with an newly outdoor shopping center that opened in early 2006.
- Village Green, Los Angeles, a neighborhood near Baldwin Hills.
- The West Angeles Church of God in Christ, a Baptist church that is located near the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd and Exposition Blvd. It is home to Bishop Charles E. Blake.
- The Crenshaw Christian Center was never in the Crenshaw District, but was originally located on Crenshaw Boulevard in City of Inglewood. It is now a part of Central Los Angeles.
- The annual Kingdom Day Parade: The 2013 parade was the 30th edition of the Parade. It is usually broadcast in the LA area on KABC-TV. The parade goes down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard.
- The Taste of Soul Festival takes place every October (since 2005).
In the post-World War II era, a Japanese-American community was established in Crenshaw. There was an area Japanese school called Dai-Ichi Gakuen. Due to a shared sense of being discriminated against, many of the Japanese-Americans had close relationships with the African-American community.
At its peak, it was one of the largest Japanese-American settlements in California, with about 8,000 residents around 1970, and Dai-Ichi Gakuen had a peak of 700 students.
Beginning in the 1970s the Japanese American community began decreasing in size and Japanese-American businesses began leaving. Scott Shibya Brown stated that "some say" the effect was a "belated response" to the 1965 Watts riots and that "several residents say a wave of anti-Japanese-American sentiment began cropping up in the area, prompting further departures." Eighty-two-year-old Jimmy Jike was quoted in the Los Angeles Times in 1993, stating that it was mainly because the residents' children, after attending universities, moved away. By 1980, there were 4,000 Japanese ethnic residents, half of the previous size. By 1990 there were 2,500 Japanese-Americans, mostly older residents. By 1993, the community was diminishing in size, with older Japanese Americans staying but with younger ones moving away. That year, Dai-Ichi Gakuen had 15 students. Recently there has been a shift in a new generation of Japanese Americans moving back into the neighborhood.
- Arthur Lee - late singer for hard rock band Love
- Darryl Strawberry- retired MLB player
- Kenneth Hahn - (1920–1997) Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
- Eric Davis- retired MLB player
- James Hahn - Former Mayor of Los Angeles from 2001 to 2005
- Pam Ward, designer/author of Want Some Get Some, a Los Angeles novel
- Tom Bradley - former late Mayor of Los Angeles from 1973 to 1993
- Richard Elfman and Danny Elfman - sibling musicians (The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo/Oingo Boingo and for the music score of Batman, Batman Returns and the opening theme for Desperate Housewives)
- Ice-T- musician and actor for NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Tremaine Fowlkes - retired NBA player
- DeSean Jackson - NFL wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Lords of Lyrics, rap group
- Dom Kennedy, rapper
- Syd tha Kyd, rapper and producer
- Nipsey Hussle, rapper
- Skee-lo, rapper
- De'Anthony Thomas - NFL wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs
- Baron Davis- retired NBA player
- Saaphyri Windsor, reality television star
- The Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times combines Baldwin Hills with the Crenshaw District to form an area it calls Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw. The Thomas Guide for Los Angeles County (2004) lists each neighborhood separately (page n).
- Robinson-Jacobs, Karen (2 May 2001). "Noticing a Latin Flavor in Crenshaw". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Welcome to KIPP Academy of Opportunity". kippkao.org. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Celerity Schools". celerityschools.org. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Non-Existent Domain". vpphs.icefla.org. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Non-Existent Domain". vppms.icefla.org. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Crenshaw Post Office".
- Brown, Scott Shibuya (3 October 1993). "Crenshaw: Littler Tokyo : Although their children have grown and gone, older Japanese-Americans still evince pride, loyalty in their changing community.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Kurashige, Scott (30 January 2014). "Growing Up Japanese American in Crenshaw and Leimert Park". Communities. KCET. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- Mu'min, Nijla (20 September 2015). "Calm before the storm of gentrification". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- Sumers, Brian (21 January 2014). "Metro breaks ground on new $2 billion L.A. Crenshaw/LAX Line". Daily Breeze. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- "Urban renewal project in L.A. begets blight instead - By Ted Rohrlich, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 10:38 PM PDT, 27 April 2008". latimes.com. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Dr Martin Luther King Jr. celebrated at Kingdom Day Parade". abc7.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- Axelrod, Jeremiah B. C. (Occidental College). "The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles." The Journal of American History, 12/2008. p. 909-910. Cited: p. 910.
- Tafur, Vic (21 May 2011). "NFL star DeSean Jackson talks bullying in Oakland". SFGate. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
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