I’m going to assume that most people are like me and didn’t realize that conditions in Compton, California have improved dramatically since the heyday of gangsta rap, but apparently it’s true:
Two decades later, Compton has a new lease on life. The community is still poor, and unemployment is more than twice the national average. But the number of homicides is at a 25-year low, slashed in half from 2005. There are fewer gunshots and more places for kids to go after school. Alongside the liquor stores and check-cashing stands are signs of middle-class aspiration: a T.G.I. Fridays, an outbreak of Starbucks and a natural-food store. Along the way, blacks became a minority in Compton, which is 60 percent Latino today.
Jessica Bennet’s Newsweek story about how it happened is extremely interesting.