How to read American Gang Graffiti in Southern California

DSCI0065A good day to you and all aboard as today we are heading out to the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, California. Located in the East Los Angeles quarter of the megalopolis, Boyle Heights is gritty, tough, and steeped in gang lore and legend. Hollywood has chosen the neighborhood and it’s gangs often for story and location. What’s my connection you ask and how do I know my way around this barrio? Eschucah me primo, or listen to me cousin. Many of my first forays as a child into east los as many like to say sadly was an unfortunate to appearance before the judge presiding at the juvenile justice system’s Eastlake facility or to the County Hospital (where the opening scene to my late grandmother’s favorite soap opera General Hospital was shot.) Being a ward of the court and an early entry into the L.A County criminal justice system, I was inducted and educated to the vernacular, dress and other Chicano( does anyone use the word Chicano any more?) cultura of the area. This included the Boyle Heights (B.H) gang. Now you know my introduction to the area, the education continues as I worked for many decades for L.A County Parks and Recreation as a lifeguard and defacto counsel to adolescents, becoming ingrained in the neighborhood rhythm and flow. Furthermore i completed my undergraduate work at California State University at Los Angeles and was often searching out eateries and other locations to soak up the east los life and practice my Spanish. Hazard park is located in B.H territory (or vice a versa take your pick) on Lancaster Ave.The General Hospital is just up the hill as well as many L.A county facilities. DSCI0067 DSCI0069


5 Responses to “How to read American Gang Graffiti in Southern California”

  1. Excellent! Im from the area and write about the area history, and most rently wrote about the gang culture of the area and its impact in history

  2. Patrick Sandoval Says:

    BH is Big Hazard. The Boyle Heights gang used the initials B HTS

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