Keeping It Real
Keeping It Real
Demographic Change, Economic Conflict, and Interethnic Organizing for Social Justice in Los Angeles
This chapter examines the demographic and economic change that has affected Los Angeles in recent years, and people of color in particular, as well as the economic conflict and racial and ethnic tension caused by the influx of Latino immigrants to the city. In particular, it considers the complaint that immigrants are taking jobs from African Americans and how community-based organizations are addressing this issue. The chapter first reviews the demographic change that has brought African Americans and Latinos into close geographic, and ultimately political, proximity in Los Angeles. It suggests that the effects of Latino immigrants on black employment are overstated, and that those suffering the most harm from immigrant labor market competition may actually be U.S.-born Latinos. The chapter also highlights black-brown coalitions, especially the efforts of some groups such as Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) to develop leadership, including that of youth. Finally, it describes how multiracial and transformative organizing for social justice has helped restore a sense of hope about both the economy and race relations in Los Angeles.
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