South Sac Iraq:
The South Sacramento Ghetto Story
Being California’s state capital and the popularity of Los Angeles and the Bay Area’s San Francisco and Oakland communities has often overshadowed the streets and urban communities of Sacramento, especially South Sacramento known as South Sac Iraq.
By the 1980s and 1990s, the streets of the Sacramento became very active as some of the city’s Blood and Crip gangs began to take shape as people from Los Angeles brought their homegrown affiliations into the streets and urban neighborhoods of the capital city.
Before the adoption of Blood and Crip gangs in the city, Sacramento had old school Sacramento gang affiliations like the Funk Lords of Oak Park and numerous others in the many urban neighborhoods of Sacramento.
But after the arrival of Los Angeles gangs, 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.
Above is a map that gives an example of the current gangs of Sacramento. Not Created by TheRealStreetzcom
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.
While never being officially affiliated with a Blood and Crip gang, this South Sacramento ghetto housing project of Franklin Villa was located off Franklin Boulevard and had such a reputation that police would be scared to enter the complex.
Even though South Sacramento is larger and the most known side of the city, the cluster of communities on the North Side from El Camino Avenue to Del Paso Heights has led to North Sacramento having many similarities as the South Side.
Much smaller than the South Side, the North Side’s community is bounded and surrounded by highways on all sides while being separated from the rest of the city as the area seems as its own city with barriers segregating from other Sacramento communities.
Even though the South Side has the moniker of South Sac Iraq, it should be noted that the North Side is just as active especially as neighborhood conflicts are easily escalated due to their close proximity to one another.
With the recent indictment of people affiliated with Strawberry Manor, not knowing if the arrests are just or unjust, should show how local law enforcement feel towards the ‘hoods and urban communities of the North Side of Sacramento.
Bloods and Crips of Sacramento might receive the most attention, but the Mexican and Asian gangs are just as active, if not more, as the Nortenos and Vietnamese and other Asian ethnicity gangs have contributed much to the occurrences of the streets.
Sacramento Black History
Long before the arrival of gangs in Sacramento, African-Americans were fleeing from racism and discrimination in the South and began relocating into Sacramento during a time when World War I & World War II provided numerous job opportunities for thousands of families despite race or ethnic background.
As industries were recruiting African-Americans from the south to work in their factories, Sacramento’s black population would eventually create communities in small pockets of the city, usually in the near distance of their place of employment.
Some of the city’s original black communities were in Sacramento’s downtown area, especially around areas that are today known as South Side Park and the Poverty Ridge area, while also establishing a base in the Del Paso Heights neighborhood.
Sacramento’s black community was not only limited to those areas, there were also other African American neighborhoods like North Oak Park Sacramento, parts of Rancho Cordova like Lincoln Village, North Highlands, and Glen Elder.
While attempting to escape the problems of the south, many black families would face similar problems like being discriminated for certain activities or banned from living in any community that was not designated for them, problems that may have not been as extreme but still gave many families difficult times.
During the 1950s and 1960s cities across America were experiencing urban renewal that eliminated housing and businesses in the black community in replace of housing projects, highways or civic arenas, Sacramento was similar with the expansion of capital buildings and construction of the Sacramento Freeway (Highway 99) and Highway 50.
Today’s Black Community of Sacramento
As urban renewal destroyed certain sections of Sacramento’s black community, many African-Americans relocated into areas like the Oak Park Sacramento community, which added to the already existing black population of the neighborhood.
While African-Americans were relocating in and out of different neighborhoods throughout the city of Sacramento, white families began to leave Sacramento’s inner-city neighborhoods for suburbs and communities outside of the city limits.
Eventually, the city’s black population would be located in neighborhoods like Strawberry Manor, Del Paso Heights, Meadowview Sacramento, Valley Hi, and Oak Park, mainly the North and South Sacramento ghetto and urban community areas.
Today, like urban renewal, African-American neighborhoods like the Oak Park Sacramento ghetto are experiencing heavy gentrification, especially around Broadway with the relocation of businesses and longtime residents as the community is slowly entering a new era with new residents.
Being one of California’s most diverse cities as all races of whites, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians equal almost a quarter of the population each, the lower income African-American and Hispanic communities have the most sought after properties in the city, especially the areas that are a close distance to downtown.
*Note: All information is provided either through people of the community, outside sources, and/or research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.
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