Would You Live in a Neighborhood Called “SOLA”?
This is South Los Angeles:
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You probably remember it as South Central Los Angeles.
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It’s where movies like Friday, Menace II Society and Boyz N The ‘Hood took place.
It’s home to the Watts Towers and Art Center…
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And Prestigious USC.
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It was also one of the areas most affected by the Los Angeles civil unrest in 1992.
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In 2003, South Central Los Angeles was renamed South Los Angeles to cast away the neighborhood’s “infamous” reputation.
Now, L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks wants to rebrand South L.A. once more.
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K, what’ve you got in mind, Mr. Parks?
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Inspired by neighborhoods like NYC’s SoHo and L.A.’s NoHo, Parks believes SoLA will make South Los Angeles sound a little more hip.
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Some L.A. residents worry the name change could result in gentrification. But wait – has anyone told Mr. Parks that the Spanish translation of “sola” means “a woman who is alone”?
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Jaime Regalado, a political science professor at California State University, Los Angeles, told the L.A. Times that “sola” could be interpreted to mean “a woman in sexual need.” K, maybe that’s a bit much. But Regalado also said Parks should have consulted with the Latino community first: “It’s not a proper word to use to describe any section or community of Los Angeles. It really is not wise at all, and it means vetting really has not taken place at the community at large.”
K, so how did Bernard Parks respond?
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Parks didn’t think it was a big deal. He told the LA Times: “If you really search hard, almost any word that you have in English and you translate it into another language could have another meaning. I think we’re still in America and we’re speaking English. So that’s what we tried to come up with.”
“I think we’re still in America and we’re speaking English.”
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Parks is still working on the name change, but he’s running out of time – his final term as a councilman ends this month.