Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo (Sociology, USC), a 2017-2018 Weatherhead Fellow, was recently honored for a book written during her time at SAR. South Central Dreams: Finding Home and Building Community in South L.A. (NYU Press), co-authored with Manuel Pastor, is a comprehensive study of changes in a Los Angeles neighborhood once considered the heart of Black L.A. Since the early 1970s, South Central has undergone a decisive demographic shift driven by an influx of Latino immigrants. The book tracks this evolution and its impact on South Central residents, both Black and Latino.
Beyond questions of inter-ethnic relations, South Central Dreams explores the complex ways that Latino residents have created a lively sense of community and made the neighborhood their home. In its description of the book, NYU Press notes that it drew on extensive interviews and statistical data:
“Hondagneu-Sotelo and Pastor explore the experiences of first- and second-generation Latino residents, their long-time Black neighbors, and local civic leaders seeking to build coalitions. Acknowledging early tensions between Black and Brown communities, they show how Latino immigrants settled into a new country and a new neighborhood, finding various ways to co-exist, cooperate, and, most recently, demonstrate Black-Brown solidarity at a time when both racial and ethnic communities have come under threat.”
South Central Dreams has been honored with the 2022 Best Book Award by the Latino/a Section of the American Sociological Association. It also received honorable mention for the Robert E. Park Award, given by the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the ASA and was a finalist for the 2021 C. Wright Mills Award of by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Professor Hondagneu-Sotelo’s work reflects SAR’s increased emphasis on Latino Studies in its scholar program and public lectures, the latter funded in part by the Mellon Foundation.