The Compton Turnaround

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.