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Old 01-16-2020, 12:45 AM
 
6 posts, read 7,797 times
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Hello All:

Our family has the opportunity to relocate to LA County and while we were initially excited by the idea, I've been quickly depressed by the stories I read about the black experience in LA: dwindling numbers, rampant black homelessness, difficulty securing employment, intraracial and interracial gang violence visited on people who just are in public spaces. Are there any areas or neighborhoods worth considering for a middle class, mixed race (non-Hispanic, black) family? Schools are not an issue; safety and not feeling like we live in a Balkanized, tense city is our concern.


Thanks very much!

Family: Middle aged, middle career.

Schools: Irrelevant.

Workplace: San Marino.

Commute: We'd prefer to keep it under a 40 minute drive to San Marino.

Community: Somewhere relatively safe where it's OK to be black (and not-black).

Areas to Avoid: Unsure. Safety is a big concern.

Architecture: We're too poor to be picky, lol.

Size: Minimum 2 bedrooms.

Home Budget: We will be renting initially but our homebuying budget is a paltry $800K or less.


Timing: Relocate by September 2020; purchase in 2021.

Target Neighborhoods: I don't know. Would Pasadena work? Burbank? I think San Marino is far too pricey.

Last edited by EverLost; 01-16-2020 at 12:57 AM..
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:56 AM
 
585 posts, read 532,459 times
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Very close to the extremely upscale San Marino is an area you describe called Altadena. It is immediately north of Pasadena. Might be worth a look. Some parts of Altadena will be more to your liking than others.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Studio City, CA 91604
3,049 posts, read 4,164,363 times
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I agree with Joe that Altadena is your best bet. It was an unincorporated area of Pasadena with a modest black population
(-/+ 20%), which has shrunk down to about 15% by now.

That seems "low" but, by California standards, is above average. You have to keep in mind that the overall black population average in California is 5.8%, so anything above that will be "higher" than average.

The Mt. Washington neighborhood on the border of Pasadena and Los Angeles is another place to consider.

Lakeview Terrace, is a little community in the city of Los Angeles at the northern rim of the San Fernando Valley, which at one point had a black population around 21% as well, but the 2018 state estimates show it is now down to around 13% currently.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:44 PM
 
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I have noticed the black population has decreased in the last 3 decades compared to how it was in the 80s and 90s, but California as a whole has been seeing an exodus among all ethnic groups. They were actually talking about it today.

and $800k is not paltry to me!

In previous decades the population percentage increase were higher than what has been happening in the last 3 decades. A lot of it is housing affordability. People can get more for their money in other places.

That does not mean people are still not moving to California all the time, but the percentage was higher before.

The neighborhoods demographics have also been changing as well, so some of the "black neighborhoods" might now be mostly Hispanic.

Some of the white neighborhoods might be slowly turning Asian or East Indian.

Some of the Mexican neighborhoods might be slowly turning into white neighborhoods.

Some of it is gentrification, the price of rentals become too high and they renovate the neighborhoods and it drives people out.

In a transient state such as California it happens more frequently, that is why a lot of the historic landmarks and architecture in CA have changed as a result.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Studio City, CA 91604
3,049 posts, read 4,164,363 times
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California didn't have a significant black population until the Naval shipyards in Oakland and Long Beach opened during the first two world wars. Relatives of the workers at the shipyards followed them from Chicago and the South to California and took jobs in fields that were focused on manufacturing. At the very peak, the black population in the state was something on the range of 8-10%.

NAFTA and the loss of manufacturing, the closure of the naval shipyards, the rapid transition to a tech/knowledge-based economy, the growth of Asian/Latin immigrant communities -- all had the net result of pushing lower-level black and white working class people who were not adaptive to these changes out of the urban areas, and ultimately out of California altogether.

A lot of the 3rd and 4th generation descendants of white and black blue-collar Californians took refuge inland in Redding, Victorville, Fresno, Antioch, Lancaster, Moreno Valley, Hemet, Bakersfield, Fairfield, Modesto, Tracy, Manteca, Lodi, etc. A lot of these towns and cities have had recent issues with drug abuse, gang activity, child abuse/neglect, that they didn't have to deal with in the past.

Some of those communities, such as Lancaster, Tracy and Moreno Valley, are now becoming more expensive in their own right, and pushing these people even further out, or out-of-state entirely to places like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. A lot of the white working-class people without formal education end up in places like Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and some go to Las Vegas or Phoenix and obtain service sector employment.

Still, a few of these people manage to get a valuable trade (electrician, custodial, plumbing, tile work, landscaping, etc) and they end up doing well in those fields and can thrive in California.

From a sociological standpoint, it's interesting.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:54 PM
 
17,815 posts, read 24,328,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverLost View Post
Hello All:

Our family has the opportunity to relocate to LA County and while we were initially excited by the idea, I've been quickly depressed by the stories I read about the black experience in LA: dwindling numbers, rampant black homelessness, difficulty securing employment, intraracial and interracial gang violence visited on people who just are in public spaces. Are there any areas or neighborhoods worth considering for a middle class, mixed race (non-Hispanic, black) family? Schools are not an issue; safety and not feeling like we live in a Balkanized, tense city is our concern.


Thanks very much!

Family: Middle aged, middle career.

Schools: Irrelevant.

Workplace: San Marino.

Commute: We'd prefer to keep it under a 40 minute drive to San Marino.

Community: Somewhere relatively safe where it's OK to be black (and not-black).

Areas to Avoid: Unsure. Safety is a big concern.

Architecture: We're too poor to be picky, lol.

Size: Minimum 2 bedrooms.

Home Budget: We will be renting initially but our homebuying budget is a paltry $800K or less.


Timing: Relocate by September 2020; purchase in 2021.

Target Neighborhoods: I don't know. Would Pasadena work? Burbank? I think San Marino is far too pricey.
Have you even been to LA? Doesn't sound like it.

Long time LA resident here. The majority of homeless people I see here (in the Hollywood/Silverlake area) are for the most part white. Some black but mostly white, rarely any Latinos.

While it is true the LA's black population has gone down I still plenty of black people.

It sounds like you're scared to move here. Don't know where you're coming from but most people here don't care about race or sexual orientation.

Do you have children? You said family so it sounded like you do, but than schools aren't an issue.

If you haven't visited(and it is foolish not to visit any place before moving there), I would come out here and look around.

I would add Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Montrose to places to look out that would give you and easy commute.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:54 PM
 
6 posts, read 7,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElDiabloJoe View Post
Very close to the extremely upscale San Marino is an area you describe called Altadena. It is immediately north of Pasadena. Might be worth a look. Some parts of Altadena will be more to your liking than others.
Thank you so much for the suggestion. Altadena seems promising based on the research I did today. I appreciate your help!
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:56 PM
 
6 posts, read 7,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kttam186290 View Post
I agree with Joe that Altadena is your best bet. It was an unincorporated area of Pasadena with a modest black population
(-/+ 20%), which has shrunk down to about 15% by now.

That seems "low" but, by California standards, is above average. You have to keep in mind that the overall black population average in California is 5.8%, so anything above that will be "higher" than average.

The Mt. Washington neighborhood on the border of Pasadena and Los Angeles is another place to consider.

Lakeview Terrace, is a little community in the city of Los Angeles at the northern rim of the San Fernando Valley, which at one point had a black population around 21% as well, but the 2018 state estimates show it is now down to around 13% currently.
Super-helpful. We know we're not going to find a black community but it would be nice to be above 1-5%, which is common in many areas. Thank you for your suggestions.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:42 PM
 
6 posts, read 7,797 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
Have you even been to LA? Doesn't sound like it.

Long time LA resident here. The majority of homeless people I see here (in the Hollywood/Silverlake area) are for the most part white. Some black but mostly white, rarely any Latinos.

While it is true the LA's black population has gone down I still plenty of black people.

It sounds like you're scared to move here. Don't know where you're coming from but most people here don't care about race or sexual orientation.

Do you have children? You said family so it sounded like you do, but than schools aren't an issue.

If you haven't visited(and it is foolish not to visit any place before moving there), I would come out here and look around.

I would add Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Montrose to places to look out that would give you and easy commute.
Good questions.

First, I want to say that I'm not being intentionally evasive but I'd rather not accidentally expose too much about our life / work / family, so I am being circumspect.

I haven't been to LA since the early 2000's, so my experience is almost non-existent. My trips then weren't pleasant but it had more to do with oppressive heat, smog and horrid traffic than interactions between people per se. I'd like to give the city another chance, almost 20 years on. My husband has only ever been through LAX.

I'm not scared to move but I am cautious because LA is sprawling and different in every way from the cities in which we have lived. Every city we've lived in as been at least 20% black and most of the neighborhoods I've lived in have had a significant black minority as well. In any context, the experience of being in the 2% of visible minority is a lot different than being in the 20% but some situations are more tolerable. The most expensive nabes in Manhattan have very, very few black residents and I've dealt with tons of suspicion and cold shoulders, which is annoying, but tolerable. On the other hand, in the least-black parts of Miami I've found explicit racism, including denial of service, and actual physical intimidation.
I could tolerate living in the former; I'm really reluctant to even revisit the latter.

We do have children but we have options other than local zoned schools, hence my comment that schooling wasn't important. FWIW, our mixed-heritage children are racially ambiguous and would phenotypically fit well in a majority Asian or Latino school. I do worry about the mental toll of anti-blackness on them but I don't have concerns about their physical safety based on their appearance.

As a New Yorker, I obviously understand population churn and gentrification. However, there's not ongoing battles between black and Latino gangs in, let's say, Brooklyn. The Latin Kings aren't targeting black families with firebombings or randomly stabbing black people in the subway. Based on what I've read and a little that I've heard secondhand, that seems decidedly different in at least parts of Los Angeles.

The opportunity to move came almost out of nowhere, so if it seems like we are under-prepared to take on such an endeavor, we absolutely are. The opportunity just came up.

We definitely plan to visit soon but our trips will be short and our homebuying budget isn't large for the area, so I was just trying to get initial feedback about places we could feel comfortable. I naively started off suggesting San Marino, which I had never heard of, because my husband would be working there. My husband naively started off suggesting East LA, because of affordability. Clearly we both had a lot to learn!

Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines
2,171 posts, read 3,123,583 times
Reputation: 4491
I'll start with being dubious about you calling 800K paltry for a house, but ok.
Just to give some perspective, I'm black and been in LA over a decade. The little bit of racism I have experienced has mainly been from a small pocket of Latino's (mainly low class ones), some Asian, and white racism in my experience has been almost non-existent. I can honestly say I've faced a whole lot more racism from whites in New York City. ANd that mainly when I was younger. Over the last 9 years, I've lived in neighborhoods that have been considered nice or outright affluent with black populations of roughly 5% or less. In fact, the most racism I witness in LA county tends to be Latino's hating whites, although its usually mentioned in private conversations.

I honestly think some of your experiences have scarred you when you mention people look at you with "suspicion". Maybe thats true, but unfortunately you and both have to live with that reality until the perception of black people changes in America, and with the current ugly Federal statistics of black folks (homicides, assaults), it probably won't happen in our lifetime.. Just move somewhere that statistically is safe, and be a good neighbor, make sure your kids are well behaved and nobody will care about your race.

To keep it real a neighborhood in LA that is 20% more or black is likely going to have LOTS of problems, but if that's where your comfortable, go for it. I see plenty of black people of note out here, some of your favorite ex- athletes and actors, and NONE of them live in neighborhoods with a double digit percentage of black people unless they're secretly broke.
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