2 Urban Girls stumbled across a video which details the state of the city of Compton in 1971. The video looks at the city from the lens of the newly elected Black leadership and whether they were able to stave off poverty in the Hub. When Dr. Dre released his latest CD titled “Compton” residents were assured that some royalties from the album would be given to the city for a Performing Arts Center. The CD begins with “Intro”, a spoken word piece lifted from the video titled “Special Report: Compton, Black City“. How has the city fared under Black leadership?
Related article: Compton, Revisited
“Compton was the American dream. Sunny California with a palm tree in the front yard, the camper, the boat. Temptingly close to the Los Angeles ghetto in the 50’s and 60’s, it became “The Black American Dream.” Open housing paved the way as middle-class blacks flooded into the city. Whites don’t buy houses in Compton anymore. Now with 74% of the population, black power is the fact of life. From banks to bowling alleys. But the dream that many blacks thought they were buying has turned sour. Though the mayor and four out of five city councilmen are black, they have been unable to solve the problems of crime and growing welfare which is slowing turning suburban Compton into an extension of the black inner city. Crime is now as high as the ghetto. 47 homicides last year gave Compton one of the highest per capita rates in the country. Juvenile gang activity, muggings, small robberies make some blacks want to leave”