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Two groups, one community: USC report explores South LA's demographic shift

A mural near the historic Watts Train Station.
A mural near the historic Watts Train Station.
Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

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The story of South Los Angeles and its historically African-American communities is a tale of triumph and tragedy spanning nearly a century. 

Community uprisings like the Watts and Rodney King riots are well-known to LA-natives and newcomers alike. What many might not know is that instances like these helped set the stage for South LA's demographic shift: voids left by an out-migration of whites and blacks in the 80s and 90s were soon filled by Latinos fleeing hardships south of the border. 

Latinos now make up the majority of South LA: 64 percent in 2010.

A new USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration report titled "Roots|Races: Latino Engagement, Place Identities, and Shared Futures in South Los Angeles," chronicles that change, offering lessons for communities of color across the country that could see similar shifts in the coming years.

Manuel Pastor is director of the  Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. He was lead researcher for the report and shared his reflections with Take Two. 

Press the blue play button above to hear the full interview.