A cluster of neighborhoods lies in the heart of Southern California, streets and boulevards forming a grid between concrete ribbons of freeway. Surrounded by the California Dream, this region has a legacy. It is heavily guarded, yet no one is protected. Nearly a quarter of its young men will end up in jail or prison. Many others will end up dead. These neighborhoods in South Los Angeles are home to two of America's most infamous African-American gangs, the Crips and the Bloods. On these streets over the past 30 years, more than 15,000 people have been murdered in an ongoing cycle of gang violence that continues unabated. It was here, just a few miles from the gated communities and sprawling mansions of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, where this nation's most bloody and costly outbreaks of civil unrest erupted--not once, but twice, 27 years and just three miles apart.


Stacy Peralta