Josh Sides’s article review
In his article, Josh Sides talks about the transformation of Compton. Compton is a suburb in Los Angeles which changes from a budding, middle-class society filled with blue-collar workers to an American connotation of inner-city conflict, gang events, vehemence, and disadvantaged blacks. Josh Sides tackles the misconstructions concerning Compton and exposes an unknown history that controverts the modern conceptions of the suburb. He also explains that the Compton community grew as a basic white suburb in Los Angeles. In this suburb, many of the people were employed in the industrial fields.
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Between 1950 and 1970, Compton was largely a black, middle-class society that prospered socially and economically. However, when the suburb of Watts in the neighborhood began going through riots, the situation threatened to extend to Compton. This caused the white community to run away from the town. The effects crippled the town’s economy and started several closures of factories, which left so many black residents unemployed. This article is, therefore, important in this discourse which differentiates Compton, the well to do society with Compton, the epitome for black, gang ferocity that has been developed through the media.
Josh touchingly focuses on the stories of the members of a rap group called NWA to show how they altered the perception of Compton to re-describe themselves. Easy-E and Ice Cube, who were the members of the group came from lower-middle-class families. They developed their symbol of harshness to establish their presence in the entertainment industry as much as they had experiences of gang vehemence and drug activities.
This hard image of Compton has infiltrated the consciousness of the American people. However, Josh Sides starts to reduce the negative perception by linking the suburb to where it came from. By reconstructing Compton, he coerces Americans to evaluate its misconceptions and predetermined ideas about race, the development of mutual memories and the facts, and figurative descriptions of places as well as names.
Donald Bogle‘s article review
Donald Bogle puts in his book, the tale of a place filled with both allegorical and true: black Hollywood. Covering at least sixty years, this creative and entertaining tale exposed the daring manner numerous blacks created a position for themselves in an industrial sector that initially had no chance for them. The blacks’ position in the industry was a hard one to curve, and not so many blacks who attempted to gain access to Hollywood managed.
Using interviews and the personal tales of Hollywood personalities, Bogle puts together an incredible history that stays greatly incomprehensible to date. We find out that black Hollywood was an area separate from Tinseltown, which was studio-system controlled. Hollywood was a different world with special regulations and social stratification. It possessed its talent scouts as well as media. Other things it owned included splendid hotels and exquisite night clubs. This means that it was a reserve for the few, and the blacks who made it there were truly phenomenal and gifted.
During this period, many black artists were discovered. Some became renowned actors and actresses while a few others became wonderful directors. We are told of famous actors such as James Edwards and Madame Sul-Te-Wan. Others include Bill Robinson, Hattie McDaniel, Lena Horne as well as the greatly gifted and accomplished Sammy Davies Junior. Bogle also covers other people in the black society, starting with the white stars’ black workers, who possessed their cash and pride, the gossip writers, hair saloons, and lastly architects. He also writes about the world which developed around them on Central Avenue otherwise known as the Harlem of the western parts.
Bogle, D. (2009). Bright boulevards, bold dreams: The story of Black Hollywood. One World.
Sides, J. (2004). Straight into Compton: American dreams, urban nightmares, and the metamorphosis of a Black suburb. American Quarterly, 56(3), 583-605. Web.