The 1920s saw a significant population increase in Los Angeles, with the city's population more than doubling from 577,000 to over 1.2 million between 1920 and 1929. This growth was largely due to the numerous job opportunities that attracted strong immigration, particularly from rural areas of the Midwest and Mexico. To understand why Los Angeles experienced such a dramatic population increase during this period, it is important to look at the history of Southern California and Los Angeles, the economic and social developments of the early 20th century, and the impact of public transportation on the city's growth. Starting in the 1870s, some local leaders in Los Angeles began to explore ways to encourage city growth and end the isolation of Southern California. Despite their efforts, it wasn't until there was a railroad fare war that what many have called the '80s boom in Southern California began. However, Southern California's economy continued to lag behind the northern part of the state, as it was mainly dependent on agriculture, real estate speculation, service industries and retail trade, but very little industry. It was during this decade that Californians attempted to exploit the oil deposits that are known to exist throughout the state.
Oil money was critical to California's economic, political, and social development in the early 20th century. While oil contributed to the growth of Southern California, especially in Los Angeles County, it also drew attention to one of Southern California's biggest problems: water scarcity. Since the days of the towns of Los Angeles, water scarcity has been a major issue for the economic future of Southern California. Public transportation in terms of trains and electric cars grew dramatically during the first two decades of the 20th century; however, it was gradually replaced by newer and cheaper transportation systems: buses and cars. Both had matured in Southern California in the 1920s. Watts was originally part of a large Mexican land grant called El Rancho Tx.
In the 1880s, it was subdivided for the first time, and over the next two decades Mexican workers moved to the area to work on the South Pacific Railroad. The riots began on August 11th 1965 when a young black man was arrested for drunk driving and many people in the arrest area stated that two black women had been victims of police brutality. Despite studies into this issue, nothing was done to address underlying complaints in Watts or South Central Los Angeles. 21 years later violence erupted again. Anna Deaver Smith said of Twilight: “I'm just trying to create possibilities for dialogue, decentralize racial discussion, try to attract more voices that aren't being heard”.One of the only areas not covered by restrictive agreements extended southward from downtown Los Angeles along Central Avenue to Slauson.
For many onlookers around the world, film and musical depictions of this stereotype became their image of South Central Los Angeles. In 1932 Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics as planned. After 1965 Watts and South Central Los Angeles became a hotbed of Civil Rights Movement activity. Specific districts had always existed within South Central metropolitan area such as Angeles Mesa, Leimert Park, Crenshaw district and Watts. The era of World War II witnessed an enormous boom in Los Angeles' economy as Southern California became a major American manufacturing center for aircraft production. The subsequent overcrowding in “Black Belts” made housing crisis a main problem facing black community during this time. Wiser than their years, South Central Dreamers are part of a larger multicultural group fighting against gentrification and transformation of South Central Los Angeles.
In 1992 violence erupted again after several white police officers were acquitted for hitting motorist Rodney King. In conclusion, Southern California and Los Angeles experienced significant population growth during 1920s due to numerous job opportunities that attracted strong immigration from rural areas of Midwest and Mexico. Economic developments such as exploitation of oil deposits throughout state and World War II boom in economy were also major factors behind population increase. Public transportation systems such as buses and cars also played an important role in city's growth while water scarcity remained an issue throughout this period.