CaliforniaCity Stories

Sacramento, CA

Breakdown of the Sacramento Ghetto:

South Sac, Oak Park, Del Paso Heights and more

Sacramento’s overshadowed urban community often gets overlooked due to city being the state capital and its location to the nearby region of the Bay Area.

In the depths of Sacramento’s urban neighborhoods is a very diverse community of Asians, Latinos, and African-Americans with all having their own separate story.

Sacramento Black History

The Sacramento black population grew around the time of World War II, which was during the 1940s.

With the recruitment of black workers from the south, Sacramento’s black population created communities in small pockets of the city near their place of employment.

Some of the city’s original black communities were in Sacramento’s downtown area, especially around South Side Park and the Poverty Ridge area, or Del Paso Heights.

oak park sacramento black history

There were other African-Americans in areas like North Oak Park Sacramento, parts of Rancho Cordova like Lincoln Village, North Highlands, and Glen Elder.

Many black families resided in these neighborhoods due to African-Americans being banned from living in many other communities.

Urban renewal of the 1960s, the expansion of capital buildings and construction of the Sacramento Freeway (Highway 99) and Highway 50, destroyed a few of the city’s black communities.

With the destruction of neighborhoods African-Americans relocated into areas like the Oak Park Sacramento community to add to the already existing black population of the neighborhood.

oak park sacramento ghetto sacramento black history

Mural of Martin Luther King in the Oak Park Sacramento neighborhood.

While African-Americans were relocating, white families were leaving the city for suburbs and communities outside of the city limits.

The main neighborhoods that were affected were the sections that were in a close distance to Sacramento’s downtown area.

Currently the main black communities of Sacramento are Strawberry Manor, Del Paso Heights, Meadowview Sacramento, Valley Hi, and Oak Park.

Today, African-American neighborhoods like Oak Park Sacramento are experiencing much gentrification, especially around Broadway with the relocation of businesses and longtime residents.

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Sacramento Gangs Breakdown

The streets of Sacramento became very active during the 1980s and 1990s, when some of the city’s Blood and Crip gangs began to take shape as people from Los Angeles brought affiliations into the city.

Before the adoption of Bloods and Crips, the city had old school Sacramento gangs like the Funk Lords of Oak Park and numerous others.

By the 1990s, different Sacramento ‘hoods adopted the Blood and Crip name like Oak Park Bloods, Garden Blocc Crips, Del Paso Heights and Strawberry Manor Bloods, El Camino Crips or the Meadowview Bloods.

Along with the Sacramento gangs, Sacramento ‘hoods became feared and gained reputations like G Parkway, aka G-Mobb, that was rebuilt into Phoenix Park during 20004 after being known as Franklin Villa, an infamous housing complex.

Currently, the streets of Sacramento are still very active from North Side to the South Side who even refer their side as South Sac Iraq.

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*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

Sacramento Black History Resources

Covin, David. “Black Politics After the Civil Rights Movement”. McFarland & Company, Inc Publishers. 2009

Furillo, Andy. “Deadly gang wafare playing out Sacramento streets” The Mecury News. December 2008. https://www.mercurynews.com/2008/12/28/deadly-gang-warfare-playing-out-on-sacramento-streets/