Negro settlement and railway growth in Los Angeles, California, 1890 to 1930

Dispersion was characteristic of Negro settlement in Los Angeles during the early years of the twentieth century. Isolated Negro settlements sprang up in widely separated areas where there was cheap land. Around these communities black populations clustered. By the year 1930, however, these nodal settlements had expanded to form a contiguous & distinctive ghetto. Many factors were involved in the formation of the Los Angeles Negro ghetto: prejudicial, legal, economic, social, and geographic. One geographic factor, the intraurban railway provided accessibility of !transportation for the Negro. This railway system grew to become the !largest intraurban railway in the United States, and from 1890 to 1930 its arrangement furnished service to the Negro community in Los Angeles. Certain social and economic institutions can be identified with the Los Angeles Negro: the church, employment patterns, and commercial and recreational areas. These institutions were served favorably by the intraurban railway from 1980 to 1930. Because of the many needs for social interaction and the existence of an intraurban railway system, these institutions became focal points for interaction and simulated unanimity. The Negro communities around these institutions ultimately expanded and connected with other Negro communities.