Breakdown of Long Beach California
The home of the Hip Hop legend Snoop Dogg, the community of Long Beach has at times been a forgotten community in Los Angeles County, due to the fact the city is miles away from the urban core of Los Angeles by being miles away from other important L.A. areas.
The main communities of Long Beach are mostly located on the North Side, especially north of Del Amo Blvd and west of Lakewood Blvd., the East Side in Central Long Beach, and the city’s West Side around Santa Fe Avenue.
With the state of California being one of the most diverse places in the United States, the community of Long Beach is very similar as the city of over 400,000 has a racial makeup of African-Americans, Asians, and Latinos, who are the vast majority with over 40%.
Long Beach Ghetto Story: African Americans
The African-American community have been in the city of Long Beach since at least the 1940s, while there probably were black families living in the city before the 1940s but the bulk of the population came during the mid-1900s.
The original black community of Long Beach was on the East Side in a section between Atlantic and Orange Avenue and from Willow to Anaheim streets. Before the African-American community became dominant in their specific location the area was home to Jewish families.
Eventually, many black families began leaving places like Compton, in a movement of black flight, to relocate into several of Long Beach communities that were mostly on the North Side since the East Side’s black community was already establish.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Long Beach gangs like the Rollin 20s and the Insane Crips became some of the first black gangs in the city, which were located in the city’s East Side and have historically been the city’s two largest Crip gangs.
The North Long Beach gangs have allegedly begun around the time of the 1980s along Long Beach Boulevard in a section that neighbors Compton with Greenleaf Boulevard being the dividing between Compton Crips and Long Beach Crip gangs.
By the 1990s and entering the 2000s, the North Long Beach ‘hoods and Crip gangs have become well established in the Long Beach community, which included the likes of Atlantic Avenue of the Carmelitos housing project.
Long Beach Ghetto Story: Samoans & Pacific Islanders
Outside of Long Beach’s African-American community, the diverse city has sections of Asians, Mexicans, and Pacific Islanders or Samoans, all have also been around for generations with their own unique story to contribute to the culture of Long Beach.
With the city of Long Beach having one of the largest Samoans populations in the country, due to the many families that had members who worked in the Long Beach shipyard, the West Side and certain sections of the East Side is the heart of their community, also the home of the Sons of Samoa Crips.
While the United States has claimed the island of Samoa for over 100 years, not until the 1950s and the 1960s did many Samoans began arriving into the United States, first starting with Hawaii and later into several communities of California.
Long Beach Ghetto Story: Latinos
The city’s Mexican and Hispanic population, which equals over 43%, is Long Beach’s largest racial group with establishing neighborhoods and communities in almost every section of the city.
The city’s Latino community came following the arrival of the city’s African-American population, but since the 1970s and the 1980s the Latino population has been drastically increasing within the Long Beach community.
The Long Beach gangs within the Latino community are broken up into three different sets, East Side Longo, West Side Longo, and North Side Longo, even though there have been other Latino gangs within the Long Beach ghetto.
Long Beach Ghetto Story: Asians
Following conflict and turmoil within their native country, Southeast Asians began migrating from their homeland escaping the dangers that they were facing and relocated into numerous communities in California.
By the 1970s and 1980s, Long Beach’s Asian community formed homes in neighborhoods on the city’s East Side and later into the city’s North Side, while making up 13% of the city’s total population and equaling the third largest group after Hispanics and whites.
Years later, the notorious Long Beach gangs of the Asian Boyz were form during the 1980s while mainly being located on the East Side in Central Long Beach, despite eventually making their way to the city’s North Side.
After years of being terrorized by other nationalities and local Long Beach gangs in the Long Beach ghetto, the Asian Boyz formed to begin to protect and defend themselves, while historically becoming known for their wars with different Latino gangs.
This short story of the streets and urban communities of Long Beach gives a brief breakdown of the city but it should be noted that there is much more to the Long Beach story and this mainly a summary of the city of Long Beach.
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.
BAILEY, Eric | Times Staff Writer. “The Gangs of Long Beach : Signs Are Obvious: Graffiti, Poverty, Drugs, Turf Wars, Murders.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 1985, articles.latimes.com/1985-12-01/news/hl-5396_1_street-gangs/4.
Fuetsch, Michele, and TINA GRIEGO | TIMES STAFF WRITERS. “Census Shows Asian, Hispanic Surge : Population: Changes Are Dramatic in Long Beach, Which Has Large Cambodian Community, and Several Southeast Cities, Where Eight of 10 People Are Now Latinos.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 1991, articles.latimes.com/1991-02-28/news/hl-3079_1_long-beach.
GARRISON, Jessica | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES. “Samoan Americans at a Crossroads.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2000, articles.latimes.com/2000/apr/14/local/me-19599.
HALDANE, David | TIMES STAFF WRITER. “Latino and Asian Gangs Engage in Deadly Warfare : Violence: Influx of Cambodians into Long Beach Has Escalated Tensions. ‘Cultural Misunderstanding’ Is Blamed by Some Officials.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 1991, articles.latimes.com/1991-04-15/local/me-111_1_long-beach.