CaliforniaCity Stories

Long Beach, CA

The Short Long Beach Ghetto Story

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 other urban areas of L.A.

The main communities of the Long Beach ghetto are mostly located on the North Side, especially north of Del Amo Blvd and west of Lakewood Blvd., West Side, and the East Side in Central Long Beach.

The African-American community has 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.

The original black community of Long Beach was in the East Side in a section between Atlantic and Orange Avenue and from Willow to Anaheim streets. Before the African-American community became dominant 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 a number 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.

The North Long Beach gangs have allegedly begun around the 1980s along Long Beach Boulevard, while others in the region started in the 1990s.

long beach ghetto long beach gangs

The North Long Beach community

Outside of Long Beach African-American community, the diverse city has sections of Asians, Mexicans, and Pacific Islanders or Samoans who have also been around for generations with their own unique story to contribute to Long Beach’s culture.

As Long Beach has one of the largesst Samoans populations in the country, the West Side around Santa Fe Avenue is the heart of their community and also the home of the Sons of Samoa.

While the United States has claimed the island of Samoa for over 100 years, not until the 1950s and 60s did many begin to arrive into the United States, first starting with Hawaii and later into California.

The Latino population is Long Beach’s largest minority community after establishing neighborhoods on all sides of town.

The city’s Latino community came following the arrival African-American population creating their own neighborhoods in Long Beach, but since the 1970s and 80s the population has been drastically increasing.

long beach ghetto

The East Side of Central Long Beach.

The Long Beach gangs in the Latino community are broken up into three different sides, East Side Longo, West Side Longo, and North Side Longo, while there were other Latino gangs in the Long Beach ghetto these are the main ones.

The Asian community, which is mostly home to people of Southeast Asian descent, have been mostly arriving since the 1970s to escape problems in their native country.

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.

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 and historically becoming known for their wars with different Latino gangs.


Click to see more on Long Beach and other California communities.

*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,

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,

GARRISON, Jessica | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES. “Samoan Americans at a Crossroads.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2000,

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,