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The Compton Turnaround

By Matthew Yglesias on March 29, 2009 at 11:42 am

"The Compton Turnaround"

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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.

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