This project centers three stories: Karen Burch, whose great-grandparents left the reconstruction south and settled in what would become East Hollywood, later forming strong bonds with their Japanese American neighbors, Takashi Hoshizaki, an 95-year-old Japanese American resident of Dayton Heights who resisted the draft while he and his family were interned during WWII, and Sandra Morena Tejada, a Salvadoran immigrant and manager of a local restaurant who is feeling the effects of current gentrification. All three residents, though part of separate generations, lived or live in the same geographical area, an area that was once redlined. And all three residents played and continue to play an important role in making their neighborhood a home.
Redlining, a 1930’s official practice which marked areas with Black and immigrant residents as “undesirable” for investment and home loans, combined with racially restrictive covenants, inadvertently created multiethnic neighborhoods all over the country. In East Hollywood, redlined areas consisted of Black, Japanese, Jewish, and Latinx residents who had very little options of where to safely live and work.
Even though housing discrimination was officially outlawed in the late 1960’s, the repercussions of redlining can still be felt. In fact, many formerly redlined neighborhoods are now facing gentrification and displacement, including in East Hollywood.
While these discriminatory practices led to cycles of disinvestment, lack of opportunities for home ownership, and a widening racial wealth gap, these communities found ways to create a sense of home through shared food, solidarity, and the drive to create a safe place for their families.