Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

American snapshot: Hawthorne



A sign advertising what's for sale at the Fiji Food Mart on Hawthorne Boulevard, February 21, 2011
A sign advertising what's for sale at the Fiji Food Mart on Hawthorne Boulevard, February 21, 2011
Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Chivo, taro leaves, and ghee: The city that is the home of the Beach Boys is also home to a diverse population that's close to a third African American, half Latino and around six percent Asian, with a small Pacific Islander population as well.

This Hawthorne Boulevard grocery store advertising goat meat in English and Spanish, taro leaves and Indian clarified butter (ghee) caters to Fijian, Tongan and Samoan immigrants and carries specialties like bags of UFOs, circular "burger flavoured" munchies imported from Fiji that taste better than they sound. The ghee is a nod to Indo-Fijians, descendants of Indian laborers who make up a substantial chunk of Fiji's population.

All within easy walking distance of a soul food restaurant and a soccer supply store that caters to Latinos, just a few of the ethnic businesses on this busy commercial strip.