Q&A: Josh Sides on South Central’s renaming


Some people say “South Central.” Others prefer “South L.A.” And still others use both names to describe the neighborhoods south of the 10 Freeway that run alongside the 110 – historically one of the most poor and violent areas of Los Angeles. Ten years after city officials changed the name “South Central” to “South Los Angeles” in hopes of alleviating the neighborhood’s negative stigma, Intersections is gauging current opinion. We are asking residents, politicians, community leaders and others: What do the names mean to you? And how has South L.A. changed over the past decade?

History professor Josh Sides saw the name change as a “superficial moment in history,” he told Intersections. Still, he believes names can carry great weight. Sides, who teaches at Cal State Northridge, is the author of “L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present” and the editor of the anthology, “Post-Ghetto: Reimagining South Los Angeles.” Read on for our interview.

Visit our “South LA vs. South Central” page for other perspectives. Add your own in the comments section, or email us at [email protected] [Read more…]